Grants Awarded to Help Build Affordable Housing Near Transit

NEW YORK - A total of $100,000 in grants will be awarded to four organizations in New York and Connecticut that are planning to build affordable housing within walking distance of subways, commuter rail stations and bus stops.

The New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium, a bi-state partnership of 17 cities, counties and regional planning organizations funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation announced the grants to address an urgent shortage of affordable housing in the region.

Housing and transportation consume an average of 48% of household income in the New York metropolitan region. Locating these developments near mass transit is crucial, providing residents with access to jobs, schools and services, and supporting environmentally sustainable development in the region.

The grants are intended to pay for pre-development expenses, including architectural, engineering and legal fees.

The award winners:

  • Allied Community Enterprises will receive up to $30,000 to demonstrate how a decentralized septic system can support sustainable transit-supported development in Croton Falls in northern Westchester County.
  • Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation is awarded $25,000 to advance a mixed-use development of retail and affordable rental housing as part of a neighborhood-wide revitalization initiative for East New York in Brooklyn.
  • West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing is awarded $25,000 to address pre-development expenses for the Tres Puentes mixed-use development project in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx.
  • Bridgeport Housing Authority will receive $20,000 to advance the first phase of a 540-unit mixed-income development that will replace aging public housing.

"We are encouraged by the broad interest throughout the region to support urban, suburban, and small town and village community development efforts that encourage more housing and transportation choices," said Richard Manson, vice president of Local Initiatives Support Corporation. "These projects will bring residents closer to jobs, shops or schools while also protecting our environment."

"These funds help to realize the vision of connecting housing, jobs, transit, educational access, and recreational opportunities throughout the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium region," said Sarah Lansdale, planning director of Suffolk County and consortium co-chair.

"Transit-oriented development is essential to expanding our economy while supporting a more sustainable pattern of growth," said Brian Bidolli, executive director of the Greater Bridgeport Regional Council and consortium co-chair. "Affordable housing will help to ensure that these projects support a broad range of incomes."

"These grants will help promising projects move forward," said Christopher Jones, vice president for research at Regional Plan Association, the grantee for the consortium. "The New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities effort was developed to take advantage of our transit network to create more affordable housing choices in both urban and suburban neighborhoods. These grants are a small but important step in that direction."
The grants are funded by the New York-Connecticut Transit-Oriented Housing Incentive Fund, which supports the development of mixed-income, sustainable communities by providing early seed capital to individual affordable housing developments near public transportation. A joint project of the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the fund seeks to advance projects that have local support, fill a regional housing need, provide more transportation choices, promote equitable housing and enhance economic competitiveness.

An unprecedented bi-state collaboration of cities, counties and regional planning organizations, the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium was funded with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant to integrate housing, economic development, transportation and environmental planning. The goal of the consortium is to reposition the New York-Connecticut region to fully harness its innovation capabilities in a competitive global environment, build on its strong foundation of energy efficiency and become as equitable as it is efficient. Its primary focus is to leverage the most extensive and robust transit system in the nation by developing livable communities with mixed-income housing and employment at key points in the MTA Metro-North Railroad and MTA Long Island Rail Road network.

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has invested $12.9 billion to build or rehab 298,300 affordable homes and apartments and develop 49 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. In Boston, LISC has financed more than 12,000 affordable homes and apartments, housing approximately 30,000 people, and fostered economic growth by financing over two million square feet of retail, office and industrial space.

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