Manhattan Affordable Project Breaks Ground

Asian Americans for Equality is developing the 14-story building in the East Village neighborhood.
East Village Homes. Rendering courtesy of Asian Americans for Equality

Nonprofit developer Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) has broken ground on a 45-unit affordable housing project under the New York City Housing Development Corp. (HDC) in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. East Village Homes, the new 14-story community at 302 E. Second St. will provide rental units affordable to very low-, low- and moderate-income households.


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AAFE was chosen by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) in 2017 to develop the site near Avenue D in the East Village. The Leroy Street Studio-designed property will include 13 studios, 19 one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units and one superintendent’s apartment. Amenities will include a shared roof terrace, meeting space and laundry facility.

The building meets Enterprise Green Communities Criteria with sustainable features that include water-conserving plumbing fixtures and high-efficiency lighting fixtures. A second phase of the project is in the works that would create an additional 10 affordable apartments on a separate site to the west at 276 E. Third St.

Array of backers

The project is being financed under HPD’s Neighborhood Construction Program and will include eight Section 8 Project-Based Voucher units. Enterprise Housing Credit Investments provided $10.2 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity, while the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) chipped in $15.2 million in construction financing via a participation interest in the senior construction loan.

In addition, HDC provided about $7.6 million of taxable bonds, while HPD contributed $6.8 million in Neighborhood Construction Program funds. The New York City Council provided $1.2 million in Resolution A funds. Enterprise Community Loan Fund and Seachange Capital Partners offered pre-development financing and additional funding came from TD Bank Charitable Foundation, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Wells Fargo, Valley Bank and M&T Bank.

The property is located near the $1 billion Essex Crossing development in Lower Manhattan. Delancey Street Associates last year secured a $215 million refinancing for The Essex, its 50 percent affordable rental building within the project.