Avalon Morningside Park, Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine Team Up for Affordable Housing

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorNew York–The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine’s housing mission fund recently contributed $200,000 towards 59 affordable housing units at the Avalon Morningside Park (pictured), a 295-unit mixed-income community located at 1 Morningside Drive in New York. Residents began moving in in July 2008. This is the first of 30 annual Cathedral contributions of $200,000 to help support the cost of the 59 affordable apartment units in the building. Over 23 million dollars have been spent for the construction of the affordable housing units at Avalon Morningside Park, and the annual rent subsidy for the units is over two million dollars.  The project features one-, two- and three-bedroom units and amenities include a community room, children’s playroom, gym, storage, bike room, parking and an outdoor terrace.For over 70 years, the Cathedral has supported, advocated and actively developed affordable housing in New York. In 1937, the Cathedral installed a model tenement to illustrate the deplorable living conditions among the poor in the City. In 1967, the Cathedral led the way for New Yorkers in support of affordable housing by committing its limited resources to help rebuild the inner city, rather than restart construction on the unfinished Cathedral.  Dr. James A. Kowalski, Cathedral Dean, says, “Avalon Morningside Park is now home to 59 families who live in affordable rentals made possible by this Housing Mission Fund, the City’s Housing Development Corporation and AvalonBay Communities. One of the Cathedral’s core missions is to work with others to build a more just society. We are honored to be part of efforts that creatively and constructively serve our community and all of its people.”  This is not the first affordable housing project that AvalonBay is involved with. It has over 1,000 affordable housing units across the U.S. In New York. AvalonBay has assisted in building community gardens, a community center, and has supported economic development throughout the region. “We value our partnership with the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; we are honored to be associates, neighbors and friends,” says AvalonBay Senior Vice-President of Development Fred Harris. “We also thank the Cathedral for their support in helping provide affordable housing to the people of New York. This is a wonderful example of a creative partnership working for the benefit of the entire community.”