As gentrification intensifies in the South Bronx, new development projects, sponsored by city agencies, highlight the need for truly affordable housing development in all city neighborhoods.
The Arches in Mott Haven are two 25-story luxury residential towers with 430 individual apartments featuring onsite conference rooms, business center, cinema room, and cafe. While the Arches was featured on NYC Housing Connect, with a housing lottery which closed in August 2021 for 60 affordable units, these units were only available to individuals making 130 percent of area median income (AMI). With a household size of one, a single New Yorker would have to make between $72,000 and $108,680 to qualify for one available studio and 25 one-bedroom units.
Activists from the “Bronx-wide People’s Platform”, a grassroots coalition of Bronx-based organizations are “calling for an end to all current, large-scale re-zonings, to support and enforce transparent, community-led and legally-binding community benefits agreement, and to pass the Radical Impact Study bill to ensure all land use planning examines its impact on people of color.” This would halt the creation of luxury development like the Arches. The coalition calls for an adjustment to the area median income formula to better reflect neighborhood levels and to meet community needs in addition to supporting community and tenant ownership through the passing of the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) and supporting collective ownership schemes for NYCHA residents.
The coalition included WHEDCo, The Point CDC, the Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene, the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative and others.
Main Image: NYC Housing Connect