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More than two years into a pandemic that has deepened the housing crisis in New York City, it is clear we need more affordable housing across the five boroughs

We also need transformative investments in communities that have been hit hard by the pandemic, like Harlem, in order to set our city on the right path for an equitable and sustainable recovery.

I am writing to express my support for the One45 project as an example of the investments NYC urgently needs to build back stronger. I implore the City Council and in particular Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan in her capacity as Harlem’s elected representative to help the community realize this is a proposal that will bring significant benefits to local residents.

One45 will deliver 367 units of affordable housing in Harlem, where it is desperately needed. These units will comprise over 40% of the entire complex; nearly 300 will be at an average of 60% of area median income, including 174 for extremely and very low-income households below 50% of area median income. The project is expected to create 1,200 well-paying jobs for local residents and union members. An additional 70 moderate-income housing units will be targeted towards working unions, particularly those whose members will be building and servicing the project, including Local 79, the District Council of Carpenters, and 32BJ. The project will not only help NYC address its severe housing crunch, but also bring the benefits of NYC’s transition to a cleaner environment and energy economy, to Harlem.

One45 is designed with a geothermal energy field that could support the city’s first Green Energy District, powering other nearby buildings for no additional cost and potentially removing more than 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually from the air, resulting in tangible health benefits for Harlemites. Now is the time to build the sustainable infrastructure our city needs for the future and One45 is a major step in the right direction and a model for the rest of the city. Finally, in addition to putting in place critical affordable housing and green infrastructure, One45 will deliver important community benefits including 45,000 square feet of new retail space for local minority- and women-owned businesses, including a healthcare center and a 20,000 innovation hub for local nonprofits such as the National Action Network.

The project will fund a year-round youth empowerment and internship program for local residents and provide up to $7 million to support improvements to the Brigadier General Young Playground. This is a pivotal moment in NYC’s recovery and we need projects like One45 for an equitable comeback. We urge you to help Harlem realize this opportunity.

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