Abyssinian Development Corporation (“ADC”), the renowned not-for-profit organization dedicated to renewing and reclaiming the spirit of community in one of New York City’s oldest and most storied neighborhoods, jointly with Mr. Irving Langer and E&M Associates, announce ADC’s acquisition of Mother Zion-McMurray Apartments (“Mother Zion”) at 2630 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, between 140th and 141st Streets, and the preservation of 76 units of affordable rental housing with additional rental and homeownership units to be built on the site.
Built in 1983, the Mother Zion complex consists of an 8-story elevator building with 76 units and a children’s playground, however, the project is currently under-built by 40,000 residential square feet. ADC plans to develop additional affordable homeownership opportunities on the under-utilized section of the property.
Mother Zion was previously owned by Mr. Langer and his partners at E & M Associates, LLC, who are well known throughout The City for their long term commitment to low and moderate income affordable housing. With more than 40 years experience in the development and management of affordable housing in the Metropolitan area, Mr. Langer has contributed greatly to the quality of life of low and moderate income tenants.
Mr. Langer has never gone back on his lifelong commitment to increasing the quality of life for those in need; and, in addition to affordable housing, has dedicated his life and financial support to a multitude of educational and social service organizations throughout the world. Mr. Langer presently sits on the board of directors of several notable not for profit organizations and has received national recognition for his philanthropic activities.
As each year passes, the affordability of thousands of homes in the Harlem community is at risk. Threatened with HUD expiring-use, opt-outs, and funding shortfalls, the imminent threat of displacement is on the rise and could easily accelerate the housing crisis in New York City . In January 2004, the national Housing Trust released a special report that listed the 10,217 HUD Section 8-subsidized housing units located in Harlem that could have been lost that year as a result of expiring contracts. In Central Harlem alone, 1,849 affordable housing units were lost by 2008 as housing development owners chose to opt-out of the HUD Section 8 program.
“We are gratified that ADC was able to step in and take action to thwart any displacement of Mother Zion families,” said ADC President and CEO Sheena Wright. “ADC has a long history of preserving quality affordable housing for Harlem families and we will continue to ensure the preservation of affordable housing opportunities in our community.”
Based on a successful track record of preservation purchases as demonstrated through the acquisition of Ennis Francis Houses in 2005 and supported by new housing legislation moving forward, ADC joined with Mother Zion residents, tenants and Mr. Langer to ensure that the HUD project-based Section 8 housing property remained affordable to the families that have called Mother Zion home for more than 20 years.
Recognizing that sufficient affordable housing for low income tenants in the City was lacking, Mr. Langer and E & M Associates sought out and entered into a contract of sale with ADC to acquire Mother Zion to insure that that property would remain a viable place for low income tenants; even though they had substantially higher offers from entities who sought to turn Mother Zion into “market rate” rentals.
ADC is proud to have partnered with Mr. Langer and E & M Associates and all that they were able to accomplish for affordable housing in Harlem . ADC looks forward to continued opportunities working together with Mr. Langer and E & M Associates for the betterment of all the citizens of New York, especially those most in need.