An economically diverse neighborhood is crucial for its financial stability and that is something we won’t deny. In a perfect world, low-income families can co-exist with middle and high-income families in the same neighborhood without fear of displacement or lacking services geared towards their economic demographics but sadly in the real world, that’s not how it works.
So as great as it sounds that housing is being being planned for the middle class in the South Bronx (after all, this demographic does exist within the neighborhoods of the South Bronx) it simply makes one cringe as little to nothing is being done for the absolute most vulnerable who are not only facing severe rent burdens and being one paycheck away from homelessness but oftentimes find themselves in overcrowded apartments to help ease the rent burden or from having taken in friends or family that may have recently become homeless themselves.
Treetop Development is bringing two buildings to the Lower Concourse area in Mott Haven which was rezoned back in 2009 to allow a transition from manufacturing and industrial towards residential, something which for years didn’t pick up much steam until the past 3 years when construction on the first developments in the area finally began.
414 Gerard Avenue will have an 11 story building with 134 units according to plans filed this week and will eventually be accompanied by a 14 story building across the street with 300 units. According to the developer, both buildings will have a mix of “affordable” housing along with market-rate units.
In an article in the Real Deal, developer Azi Mandel was quoted as saying, “We’re excited and I hope we start a trend for new construction for the middle-class.”
We need a strong middle-class, but what about excitement for the most vulnerable in our communities and building truly affordable housing for them?