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  • Mamaroneck Observer

New Affordable Housing Project on Mount Pleasant Avenue

by Cindy Goldstein -

 

A proposed 63 unit affordable housing development made its first appearance in front of the Village’s Planning Board on May 30.  Three parcels will be merged together for the development by Search for Change, Inc. the sponsor/applicant of the project and owner of the property. 

 

Established in the 1970’s, Search for Change, Inc. is a not-for-profit whose mission is dedicated to improving the quality of life and increasing the self–sufficiency of individuals with emotional, social, and economic barriers. We teach the skills needed to choose, obtain and maintain desirable housing, meaningful employment, higher education and productive relationships with family and friends. Our programs and services are focused on individual choices, needs, interests and abilities. 

 

The three parcels were recently acquired for $3 million (see HERE) and are currently vacant and boarded up.  The applicant plans to demolish all three buildings and construct a six-story all-affordable building with 54 studios, 6 one-bedrooms and 3 two-bedroom apartments.  The development requires all of the Village land use boards to have a role in evaluating the project: Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, Harbor Coastal Zone Management Commission and Board of Architectural Review.  It is anticipated that the Planning Board would be the Lead Agency under the SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act).  SEQRA requires a hard look at all of the environmental impacts that include parking, traffic, schools, infrastructure, etc.

 

The approval process will not have input from the Board of Trustees.

 

As a non-for-profit, Search for Change, Inc. qualified for and received approval from the Town of Mamaroneck assessor to be exempt from property taxes (Westchester County, Town of Mamaroneck and Village of Mamaroneck).  No mention was made of offering payment-in-lieu of taxes at this time.  The exemption will be effective next year. The properties had been on the tax rolls with an aggregate value of more than $1.9 million. See HERE.

 

This will be the largest residential building Search for Change has undertaken.  Zoning law allows an all-affordable building to be 6 stories if granted by the Planning Board.  The project will need a parking variance from the Zoning Board.  The applicant stated that affordable housing residents generally do not have many cars and the project is within easy access of mass transit.

 

Funding for the project was described by CEO Ashley Brody as coming from New York State agencies and not the federal government.  Half of the units will be set aside for vulnerable populations with severe mental illness and all residences will be affordable. The other half of the units will be assigned to tenants based on a lottery system and marketed over a broad range of counties.  Support staff will be on-site 24 hours a day.

 

At their meeting the Planning Board voted their intent to be Lead Agency on the project and stated that there will be public hearings in the future.




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