Despite millions from Columbia, West Harlem Development Corporation struggles to find affordable housing
Despite receiving millions in funding from Columbia, the West Harlem Development Corporation continues to face difficulties in creating and preserving affordable housing in the area, largely due to a lack of vacant land in District 9, according to the organization’s second three-year strategic plan....
It struck me immediately as I started reporting on Arise, a summer program for youths in West Harlem, what a small world I had stumbled into.
A couple weeks ago, David Hanzal had a bout of déjà vu. Someone came into People Against Landlord Abuse and Tenant Exploitation, the West Harlem nonprofit better known as P.A.’L.A.N.T.E., asking for advice—someone like Hanzal, four years ago. “He walks in, he says, ‘I’ve organized my building, I’ve done 311, I don’t know what to do, the landlord’s doing this.’” The client lives right near Columbia’s 17-acre Manhattanville expansion, in the neighborhood of the same name. “He's got a long road ahead of him. You know, he’s where I was in 2014.”...
It's 6:30 on a Friday, and it's already dark outside. Six people sit around a long table—not a bad turnout for a muggy day like today. They have gathered at the West Harlem Skills Training Center, a little black awning on the corner of 134th and Amsterdam, for a workshop about obtaining street vendor permits....
Turn down the 600 block of West 136th Street, and the traffic quiets. The buildings on this block are stately—columns at the entrance, elaborate floral pediments over the windows, swirling iron fencing on the fire escapes. Building 601 stands out from the rest because of the ornate cast-iron gate over its front doors. A detail like this seems like it might belong to a co-op on Park Avenue with a doorman and a valet. But this building is a co-op of a different kind—a Housing Development Fund Corporation, sold by the city directly to tenants in order to provide an opportunity for homeownership to low-income New Yorkers. Walk farther down the street, and you’ll encounter another, at 607, and then another, at 611. All told, this block houses six HDFCs, a total of 141 units of affordable housing. It isn’t just this block, though. Our own Community District 9, made up of Hamilton Heights, Manhattanville, and Morningside Heights, is a hotspot for these buildings, home to about 150 buildings of some of the most affordable housing in New York City....
Baller City: Can A Basketball Tournament At The Grant Houses Change What It Means To Invest In The Youth?
MARCH 1, 2018: “HARLEM, NY — Two [young] men were shot Wednesday night outside of a public housing building in Harlem, an NYPD spokesman said.”...
Nine years later, just 1 percent of Columbia’s $10 million commitment to affordable housing has been spent
Outside the West Harlem Development Corporation’s office, which sits on 127th Street between Morningside and Amsterdam Avenue, is a parking lot.
Half of the West Harlem Development Corporation's $20 million affordable housing fund will be administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the group's board of directors announced last week....
Updated, May 2, 11:18 a.m
Longtime antiviolence activists Derrick Haynes and Taylonn Murphy see more than empty storefronts on the mostly abandoned block of Old Broadway between 125th and 126th streets....