There is an ongoing affordable housing crisis in New York City. Based on the principles of supply and demand, the real estate industry of the city isn’t able to keep up with the rapidly growing population which has created a situation where landlords and property owners are able to charge incredibly high rent for their properties. Now the Department of Housing Preservation and Development is partnering with Fullstack Modular to attempt to solve the issue.
There is a vacant lot which is owned by the city at 581 Grant Avenue, which HPD anticipates will be able to be used as a 167 unit apartment complex which will be primarily built for low income and formerly homeless New York citizens. Not only is the lower construction cost of these modular complexes appealing to the HPD, but the speed at which construction can be finished on a new project is also a major plus.
A handful of buildings in New York have already been constructed with this new modular concept, most notably the Bloomberg Award winning Carmel Place in Kips Bay. That location opened as a part of the Pacific Park mega-project of 2016, and houses 55 livable micro apartments. For a city with such a notable issue with homelessness, this type of project could be a huge answer to a major problem.
While there are obvious issues to be resolved as far as building in the five boroughs of New York (most notably the rapidly increasing cost of manufacturing in New York), the HPD still believes that its partnership with Fullstack Modular is a potential answer to the housing crisis. Former deputy mayor Alicia Glen believes that the initial benefits are rooted in the time-saving aspect, but as the project scales up, it will also save money.
Even with the issues of cost of building in the city and time delay of bringing the parts in from around the world, the HPD is hopeful that the newest project will be completed 25 to 30 percent quicker than a traditional apartment building project. City government believes that figuring out how to effectively build modular apartment complexes is a vital part of the future of housing in the city. If everything goes according to plan, the project at Grant Avenue will hopefully be able to begin housing tenants by 2022.