WHDC Updates

WHDC Moves Forward on Affordable Housing

August 30, 2019

After years of missed opportunities due to a combination of low availability and rising costs of land in Manhattan, specifically West Harlem, WHDC has finally found a site ripe for affordable housing development. On July 29, 2019, WHDC invested $2 million in a partnership to develop 169 low-income affordable units in Harlem. The joint venture project between WHDC and Carthage 124th LP is called Marcus Garvey Village.

The 2009 Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) between Columbia University and West Harlem included an Affordable Housing Fund ($20m in total) to address the impact of the school’s expansion of its Manhattanville campus. Those funds are provided in two increments of $10 million, one of which has already been disbursed.

Despite this influx of capital, as land/property is made available in the service area of WHDC (Manhattan Community Districts 9, 10, 11, and 12), for-profit entities present a more enticing case for development. Additionally, the combination of public and private funds needed to support an affordable housing project require strict dollar per square foot investment parameters. Only now has WHDC found an offer that will fit within those restrictions.

WHDC has crossed a major threshold with this investment that has been years in the making. Stay tuned for more details about the progress made on the new Marcus Garvey Village.