high rise residential

Council approves Bronx housing development with nearly 1,000 ‘affordable’ units

A project that will bring nearly 1,000 new apartments to the Bronx got approval from the City Council Wednesday.

The La Central development in Melrose is set to include five buildings with 992 apartments — all of them designated as affordable housing — as well as a new YMCA, skate park and observatory for Bronx Science.

The project is the biggest approved under Mayor de Blasio’s mandatory inclusionary housing rules, which requires some income restricted apartments in any project that needs city approval.

De Blasio’s plan has faced resistance on other fronts — with the rejection of a housing development in Inwood, and opposition that may lead to the defeat to another in Sunnyside, Queens.

Bronx wins affordable housing deal backed by de Blasio

“This affordable housing crisis hurts families, from those struggling in poverty to those trying to make it into the middle class. With the backing of the City Council, we are making sure that a thousand more Bronx families will be safe in new affordable home,” de Blasio said after Wednesday’s vote.

Councilman Rafael Salamanca (D-Bronx) said he got on board after developers agreed to set aside some apartments in each building for families making about $23,310, renting for around $640 a month.

Under the original plan, the cheapest apartments would have been for families of three making $38,850, with rent around $1,070.

Other apartments will be for households making as much as $101,010, with rent at $2,780.

“This project has the ability to be transformative to an area that has for decades faced a lack of real investment, including quality affordable housing,” Salamanca said.

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the de Blasio administration should be more “proactive and engaged” with the Council to make sure housing projects get approved instead of shot down.

“If we do not get to a point where community concerns are addressed … then we have the ability to vote those projects down,” she said. “It is very rare that we vote down projects. We are interested in voting on projects that are going to bring benefits to our community, particularly affordable housing.”


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