Affordable Housing Project Opens in Yonkers

By Anuradha Kher, Online News Editor Yonkers, N.Y.–Croton Heights Apartments, a $23 million, 60-unit affordable rental community in southwest Yonkers, N.Y. opened today.Developed by The Richman Group Development Corp., and built on the site of an old, unused parking lot formerly owned by the Yonkers Parking Authority at 193 Ashburton Ave., the building features one-, two- and three-bedroom rental units, and 1,500 sq. ft. of community space with a well-appointed community room, a fitness facility, a resident computer center, broadband wiring, on-site storage space, parking and a children’s tot lot. “The benefits of creating safe, affordable housing go well beyond bricks and mortar,” says Mayor Phil Amicone. “It creates jobs, encourages stability in our neighborhoods, generates important tax revenues, sparks new investment, and, perhaps most importantly, restores pride in our city.”The Croton Heights Apartments is part of the larger HOPE VI Revitalization Plan that also encompasses the demolition and redevelopment of the nearby Mulford Gardens, one of the first public housing projects built in the nation. HOPE VI is a federally funded program that seeks to replace severely distressed public housing projects occupied exclusively by poor families, with redesigned mixed-income housing. Former tenants of Mulford Gardens, now in the demolition process, will receive first preference for HOPE VI housing in Yonkers.  To keep apartment rents affordable, the Yonkers IDA approved incentives for the developer including a real property tax agreement, mortgage tax exemptions, and sales and uses tax exemptions for construction.   President and CEO of the Yonkers IDA, Ellen Lynch, says, “As the nation confronts the most challenging economic climate in recent history, Yonkers remains steadfast in its commitment to produce affordable housing, to rebuild entire neighborhoods, and to make a positive difference in our community.” Financing sources include the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, New York State Housing Finance Agency, Bank of America, The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, The Richman Group Affordable Housing Corp., M&T Bank, Westchester County Planning and the HUD’s HOPE VI Program. Residents at Croton Heights earn no more than 90 percent of the area median income (AMI) adjusted by family size. Rents range from $400 to $1,418 depending upon several factors.