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CB 7 Committees Endorse Plan to Replace Car Storage With Affordable Housing

An affordable housing developer wants to expand the Valley Lodge transitional homeless shelter and build new apartments on the sites of three parking garages between Amsterdam Avenue and Columbus Avenue on W. 108th Street. Photo: Google Maps

After more than a year of public debate, on Monday four Manhattan Community Board 7 committees voted overwhelmingly to endorse the plan to replace two city-owned parking garages with affordable housing. You can watch the two-hour meeting on YouTube.

The project would replace 675 parking spaces and an existing homeless shelter with a 100-bed transitional homeless shelter for seniors and 194 rental apartments for households making 60 percent of less of the area medium income.

The four committees -- transportation, land use, health and human services, and housing -- also asked that the timeline for converting a third municipal garage on the block into housing be expedited.

"When we read the newspaper every day we're horrified because we see that there are approximately 60,000 people a day who are living in shelters," board member Audrey Isaacs told her colleagues. "More homelessness is on the way. We're very lucky that we have this site. We have to get the entire site -- the western side and the eastern side -- built totally for housing as soon as possible."

Monday's meeting was the second CB 7 committee hearing on the project. Opponents tried to make a stand at the first meeting on October 30, which was devoted entirely to public comments. But they were outnumbered by supporters of the project, including current and former residents of the existing Valley Lodge transitional shelter on 108th Street.

While the four committees that convened last night amount to almost half of CB 7, the full board still needs to vote on the project. It will be on the agenda at the December 5 CB 7 meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at 113 West 60th Street.

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