This week, Sydney House debuted as Habitat for Humanity‘s largest completed housing project worldwide. Designed by Union Street Studios, the seven-story building is located at 839-843 Tilden Street in The Bronx and is the first project to be completed as part of New York City’s “Open Door” affordable homeownership program.
As a limited equity co-op, the Williamsbridge property comprises 56 households includes 26 one-bedroom, 23 two-bedroom, and seven three-bedroom apartments that are exclusively available to low- and moderate-income households. Associated amenity spaces include a 2,000-square-foot recreation space, a laundry room, personal storage, on-site parking for cars and bicycles, and a green roof.
“Sydney House is the manifestation of the idea that ownership and equity go hand in hand, and that affordable home ownership for New Yorkers can be a catalyst for improved health and economic growth, with benefits that go beyond the individual or family housed and extend to the community,” said Karen Haycox, CEO of Habitat for Humanity New York City. “We thank our partners who helped make Sydney House a reality for these families and look forward to creating more affordable home ownership opportunities across New York City and Westchester.”
As part of the Open Door program, all Sydney House residents are first-time homeowners. Applicants provided one percent cash down payments and were given access to a two percent fixed-interest rate mortgage made possible through financing from the State of New York Mortgage Agency.
The building was completed late 2020 as a joint venture between Habitat for Humanity New York City and the Almat Group. The $29 million project included $9.4 million from the Open Door program, $2.24 million from New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Affordable Housing Corporation, and $4 million in discretionary capital from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the People of City Council District 12. The remaining project costs were financed through developer equity and a construction loan provided by JP Morgan Chase.
“Sydney House offers residents an opportunity to build equity, to have ownership, and to build community,” said Donald Matheson, principal at Almat Group. “Sydney House and affordable homeownership in general helps us hang on to some of that uniqueness, and that’s a win for all New Yorkers.”
Construction broke ground in March 2018 and was completed in late 2020. A virtual ribbon cutting took place on April 14 with project stakeholders, lenders, city officials, and members of the co-op board.