By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
New York—Work has started on the first phase of the redevelopment of Randolph Houses, which are in central Harlem in Manhattan. The overall project calls for the extensive rehab and preservation of 36 historic tenement buildings, which will ultimately result in 314 units of housing: 147 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing units, along with 167 affordable housing units. The buildings are located on W. 114th St. between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Blvds.
The structures originally date from the 1890s and were acquired by NYCHA in the 1970s. The New York State Historical Preservation Office has determined that the buildings are eligible for historic designation, meaning that the rehabilitation must preserve certain historic elements of the buildings’ exteriors.
The majority of the units—152—will be available to families earning at or below 60 percent of AMI, or an annual household income of no more than $36,120 for an individual or $51,540 for a family of four. Fifteen units will be available to families earning at or below 80 percent AMI, or no more than $48,100 for an individual or $68,700 for a family of four.
The 147 public housing units will be made available to current and former Randolph Houses residents, with any remaining public housing units for families and individuals on the NYCHA waitlist. The 20 remaining units of affordable housing will be filled via housing lottery, which is according to city requirements. Marketing of the apartments and the application process for the lottery typically begin when construction is about 70 percent complete.
The project is a collaboration of a number of government agencies and private and nonprofit partners. They include HUD, NYCHA, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Housing Development Corp., Trinity Financial Inc., West Harlem Group Assistance Inc., Enterprise Community Investment Inc., TD Bank, the Randolph Houses Resident Task Force and JP Morgan Community Capital.
NYCHA has contributed up to $40 million in federal capital funding towards the construction of the public housing units, through HUD’s Mixed-Finance program. That program allows public housing authorities to combine HUD capital funds with other public, private and nonprofit sources to create public housing units in developments that also include private affordable housing units.
The Randolph Houses are named after A. Philip Randolph (1889-1979), principal organizer of a number of key organizations during the civil rights movement, including the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the League for Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation and the March on Washington Movement. Randolph received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.