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Greenburgh Housing Authority and Board discuss concept for major new housing in Fairview section of Greenburgh
GREENBURGH, NY__ The chairperson and executive director of Greenburgh Housing Authority, along with an outside consultant, presented concept plans to the Town Board at the work session on Tuesday night to replace an existing complex of 131 low income units with 190 in the coming years. The presentation to the Town Board was made by Bishop Wilbert Preston, chair of the Greenburgh Housing Authority and Executive Director Raju Abraham.
The GHA site (Maple Street State Site) bounded by Route 287 on the south end and Old Tarrytown Road on the north currently contains 131 garden duplex apartments for low income tenants, but is 60 years old, dilapidated, and in need of major repairs. Faced with such expensive upgrade expenses, including especially aging utilities and connections, a careful review finds it more cost-effective to start over with a total rebuild of the complex. In light of a notable shortage of affordable housing–and with a waitlist locally of hundreds of people in need—rebuilding would give the GHA an opportunity to add dozens of new units for residents.
The plan would require amending the zoning of the site from M-14 to M-22 to allow for more density, as the structures would go from many scattered garden-style dwellings to five more consolidated apartment buildings, creating almost 60 new units. Tentative plans shared involve elevator buildings up to four stories interspersed with more parking spaces than previously available,while preserving the streetscape, sidewalks and aged trees of Old Tarrytown Road, and providing active/passive shared open spaces behind each building.
In order not to displace anyone to different sites which is very difficult and costly, the plans involve a phased construction schedule over the course of a few years, going building by building, and slowly moving people into their new places as they are completed. In order to achieve this seamlessly, the consultant suggested a plan of having only one higher building, of four floors, constructed first on the southern boundary of 287. This would allow for more room to house people initially until other lower buildings come online later. The majority of units would be three-floors. The units closest to OTR would be two.
Board members noted that this overall vision of an average of three-floor height matches the complex height across the street on Old Tarrytown Road. The height shift however would involve securing a variance on top of the zoning map amendment.
Of course an essential part of the process would be environmental review and all the required site approvals, along with many public meetings to get feedback from the residents most impacted. A possible timeline for this could involve a few years until construction begins, and a few years of construction once underway. The Housing Authority wanted to bring this proposal to the community very early in the process.
Flooding has been an ongoing concern across the county and here with a waterway on Town property adjacent to the full length of the parcel, but the Town Board considered reconstruction an opportunity to address this by potentially raising the elevation, adjusting the embankments and setbacks. In addition to county, state, federal aid the GHA hopes to tap into for addressing the affordable housing crisis, there could also be funds available for the flood mitigation efforts and for focusing the project on green decarbonization measures.
The units would match what currently exists for these residents–from one-bedroom to four-bedroom dwellings; while the new additional units would likely be one to two-bedroom where the most contemporary demand lies. The priority for all involved would be keeping within low income guidelines to help the people in most need of affordable housing.
I am very excited about this initiative. We need more low income and affordable housing in Greenburgh and in the entire county. I get a few calls a day from residents and would be residents who are in desperate need of a place to live. The Housing Authority deserves our thanks for being proactive and taking steps to give lower income residents a good quality of life in a comfortable and new apartment. A new senior citizen affordable housing complex is set to open on Manhattan Ave in late October or early November. I am also very excited that the Housing Authority has connected Broadband to residents of the the Housing Authority. Most residents of Housing Authorities in NYS do not have access to Broadband.
Watch the full work session presentation and discussion on new low income housing plans for the Fairview neighborhood by clicking to the link below:
PAUL FEINERGreenburgh Town Supervisor