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Successful Affordable Housing Projects in New York (Research Paper Sample)


the sample talks about succesful housing projects in new york. the chosen projects were Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments and 90 Sands. it should include either images or architectural plans of the projects highlighting both the past and current design and use of space. three references published within the last five years were used.


Successful Affordable Housing Projects in New York
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Successful Affordable Housing Projects in New York
Over the last century, the City of New York has been looking for viable, affordable housing models. For-profit or non-profit developers do not build affordable housing projects. Most affordable housing projects offer supportive services on-site that help the disabled and the homeless live dignified lives (Schwartz, 2019). In most projects, the ground floor of affordable housing projects is often left for social services personnel such as psychologists, social workers, nurses, and job placement advisors. Affordable housing projects also include multipurpose spaces, laundry rooms, gyms, and computer rooms. Available, affordable housing projects in the market only have provisions for rentals and not homeownership. These housing units are made available via a lottery system, and in some cases, the applicant’s income ranges are stipulated (Schwartz, 2019). Once the lottery process is over, the chosen applicants proceed to the interview phase, where the successful prospective tenants or homeowners are selected.
Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments
The Monsignor Anthony J. Baretta apartments were originally developed under Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP). The project aimed to illustrate those affordable housing units can cost below the average affordable housing cost while maintaining a credible design (Schwartz, 2019). The project completed was completed in 2013 following a public-private partnership between the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).
The land used for the project's construction was donated by the Catholic church, the Brooklyn Archdiocese. The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) and Catholic Charities opted to transform some of its underutilized lands to help solve the housing crisis in parts of Brooklyn (Archello, 2022). The challenge with setting up the project was the consolidation of all the land needed for the project. The designers, RKTB Architect P.C., decided to base the housing complex on an affordable infill prototype they had previously developed.
Fig. 1 Baretta Apartments (Retrieved from
RKTB designed the Baretta apartments as a sustainable project aimed at obtaining a good LEED rating and compliance with the New York State Energy Research & Development (NYSERDA) guidelines. One of the key design elements of the project is a central staircase enclosed by glass and located at the front of every building within the project (Archello, 2022). The central stairs eliminate the need for an elevator. The stairs create a visual connection with the adjacent street, promoting a sense of security and a good view of the street from within the buildings.
Besides security, the stairs also facilitate cross-ventilation between apartments as it provides access to two apartments per floor. The adequate spacing between apartments allows every housing unit to access natural lighting, another energy-saving feature, particularly in the summer months (Archello, 2022). The careful selection of materials also helped to keep the cost of construction low, and the companies engaged were the best in their area of specialization. For instance, Rynone provided materials to design the kitchen cabinets and countertops, given their specialization in marble vanity tops, laminate kitchen countertops, and natural granite (Archello, 2022). The buildings’ façades are stucco and cost-effective masonry provided by various suppliers.
The project incorporates a “smart housing” concept that aims to provide high-quality housing units and follow the state’s energy guidelines while regenerating existing communities to fill in the slots an affordable housing project provides. The over 69,000 square-foot housing project offers 64 housing units spread out in eight separate buildings—the Baretta apartments aimed at generating between 50 and 110 dwelling units per unit acreage (Archello, 2022). The Baretta apartments have gained critical acclaim from tenants, community members, and city agencies by proving that affordable housing projects can be socially acceptable and provide pleasant views.
90 Sands
The 90 sands refer to an affordable housing project located in the neighborhood of DUMBO, Brooklyn. The groundbreaking for the project began in 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2022. Affordable housing aims at regenerating existing buildings and using the available space to create affordable housing units. In 1992, the Watchtower Society initially developed a building to provide long-term stay for its staff and volunteers where the current 90 Sands project is located (Popeck, 2022). Fast-forward, Breaking Ground acquired the building, previously a hotel, to build affordable housing units.
Fig 2. 90 Sands (Retrieved from
Ground Breaking applied for a change of land use, allowing it to proceed with the housing project. The organization's role is to provide the homeless in society with a place they can call home and get them out of the streets.

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