Press Release

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City Seeks Development Partners to Create Affordable Housing for Seniors and Families at Sites Located on the Grounds of NYCHA’s Betances Houses

NEW YORK— The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the development of 100 percent affordable housing apartments for seniors and families on the grounds of NYCHA’s Betances Houses V and VI  in the Mott Haven neighborhood, South Bronx.
This RFP advances the goals of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Planto create and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its goal is to help address New York City’s affordability crisis by housing more than half a million New Yorkers, ranging from those with very low incomes to the middle class – all of whom face increased pressures due to ever-rising rents. It also helps achieve NYCHA’s commitment to contribute 10,000 of those affordable units as part of NextGeneration NYCHA, the Authority’s 10-year strategic plan.
“We are excited to see these developments move forward as part of our NextGeneration NYCHA plan,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. ”Once complete, these new residences will give families and seniors a safe, clean, and most importantly, an affordable place to call home.”
“Housing opportunities for seniors and low income households have been far too limited for far too long,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “This administration is changing that – and today is another example of the City looking for the strongest and most creative proposals to build affordable housing on City-owned land for families in desperate need of affordable housing.”
Through the RFP, the City invites developers, including non-profit entities and M/WBE firms, to submit proposals for the design, financing, construction, and operations of 100 percent affordable new housing at Betances V and Betances VI. Preferences will be given to proposals with deep affordability levels and a range of incomes.
The framework for the RFP was built on the priorities identified by local residents through outreach, surveys, community visioning workshops, and NYCHA resident meetings as part of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiatives planning process, which resulted in the Make Mott Haven Transformation Plan. The plan, a blueprint for the revitalization of the South Bronx neighborhood, aims to enhance the quality of life of residents from multiple angles, including fortifying housing, creating greater economic opportunity, and beautifying the neighborhood. 
Betances V Site:
  • The Betances V site, or ‘Development Site 1,’ is located on East 142nd Street and East 143rd Streets, between Willis and Brook Avenues (Block 2287, Lots 26 and 71). The lots will be merged, and the resulting lot will be approximately 20,100 square feet.
  • The development plan for this site must be for 100 percent affordable apartments for seniors 62 years of age or older.
  • The developer should include a community space, as well as a services plan for residents and the surrounding NYCHA community. 
Betances VI Site:
  • The Betances VI site, or ‘Development Site 2,’ is located at the intersection of East 146th Street and Willis Avenue (Block 2291, Lot 1).
  • The development plan for this site must be for 100 percent affordable apartments for families.
  •  To promote NextGeneration NYCHA’s goals of advancing vibrant, mixed-use communities, the developer will be required to include ground-floor commercial space in the development plan for this site.
"I strongly support NYCHA’s efforts to help generate deeply affordable housing, especially efforts that prioritize NYCHA and community residents and, most importantly, seniors,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The development of these sites will not only provide additional, much-needed affordable housing, but will also help improve the appearance and safety of the neighborhood with commercial activity on the first floor and a new community facility, supporting the needs of the surrounding neighborhood. I look forward to working with NYCHA on the implementation of these projects.”
NYCHA will retain rights to the land developed through a long-term ground lease and provide critical oversight to the project. Developers will be required to train and hire NYCHA residents, and proactively engage residents on a regular basis as the project moves forward. Rents will be stabilized in the completed properties. NYCHA residents will have a preference for 25 percent of the units.
The RFP submission period will run from Monday, June 27 through September 30, 2016. Proposals are due by hand on September 30, 2016 no later than 4 p.m. The RFP can be accessed at the NYCHA and HPD websites.
NYCHA’s Betances Houses were named in honor of 19th century physician and revolutionary Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances (1827-1898). Often called "the Abraham Lincoln of Puerto Rico" for his efforts to free the slaves, Betances was the son of a wealthy landowner who received his medical degree from the University of Paris. He founded a hospital in Mayaguez where he treated victims of a cholera epidemic. In 1867 he organized an abortive insurrection against the Spanish colonial government. Betances was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government for his contribution to literature.
The vacant lot on East 142nd Street by Betances V is believed to have once been occupied by part of the residence and sculpture studio of the Piccirilli family, a father and six sons who were renowned marble carvers and sculptors whose works included the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., ‘Patience’ and ‘Fortitude’ -  the two lions in front of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, as well as numerous other statues around New York City and the nation. This block is co-named Piccirilli Place.

About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 328 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via and
About the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For more information visit and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us via and