Groundbreaking held for new affordable housing development in East Village

The East Village Homes Groundbreaking on Nov. 15. (Courtesy AAFE)

BY GABE HERMAN | Local officials and nonprofits broke ground on Nov. 15 on a development that will offer dozens of affordable rental apartments in the East Village.

The new building at 302 E. Second St., between Avenues C and D, will be called “East Village Homes,” and offer 100 percent affordable housing.

The project is part of the Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD) Neighborhood Construction Program, and will create 45 affordable apartments.

Among the groups at the groundbreaking was Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), a nonprofit based in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. AAFE was selected by HPD in 2017 to develop the new building, which will have 14 stories and include apartments for very low, low, and moderate-income households. There will also be community space on the ground floor.

A rendering of the East Village Homes building. (Courtesy AAFE)

“There is a clear need for affordable housing across every neighborhood in New York City,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “It is always fulfilling when we can break ground for a new project in an area where land is not often readily available.”

Others at the groundbreaking included Council Members Carlina Rivera and Margaret Chin, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, members of Community Board 3, and officials from NYC Housing Development Corporation, Enterprise Community Partners and the Low Income Investment Fund.

“In the face of a rising citywide affordability crisis, today we’re taking a bold step in creating truly affordable housing in our East Village and Lower East Side neighborhoods,” said Chin. “I am proud to have secured $800,000 in Council funding to support this project and provide more housing stability for our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Council Member Carlina Rivera speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony. (Courtesy AAFE)

“Today we celebrate the kickoff of a project that will bring desperately needed affordable housing to the East Village and Lower East Side, where longtime residents are increasingly at risk of displacement from a community they have helped build,” said Thomas Yu and Jennifer Sun, AAFE co-executive directors, in a statement. “We thank HPD and HDC for their faith in AAFE to complete this exciting project, to our elected officials for their strong support and to our funding partners for helping to make East Village Homes a reality.”

The building will include 13 studios, 19 one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom apartments and one apartment for an on-site super. There will be a shared roof terrace and sustainable elements like high-efficiency lighting and water-conserving plumbing fixtures.

“The Lower East Side is known for its decades of activism demanding tenants’ rights and programmatic and financial support from government,” said Rivera. “Therefore, it is fitting that today, in this neighborhood, we celebrate an amazing partnership between New York City and local non-profit partners that will result in the development of 45 affordable apartments for individuals and families – many of these reserved for AMIs [area median income] as low as 20%.”

Construction is scheduled to finish by December 2021. A second phase of the East Village Homes project will be at a separate site, at 276 E. Third St., and is expected to create 10 additional affordable rental units.