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Unions Urge NYC Council to Support Harlem’s One45 Project Groups Rally Ahead of Hearing on Planned Development

Unions Urge NYC Council to Support Harlem’s One45 Project
Image credit: 32BJ SEIU

On May 10, 32BJ SEIU and Laborers’ Local 79 rallied at City Hall in support of the One45 Harlem development project and spotlighted the project’s workforce housing proposal that will bring family-sustaining union jobs to Harlem. The rally came ahead of a New York City Council hearing on the One45 development planned for West 145th Street and Lenox Avenue. The development would house a diverse cross-section of residents, including union workers, formerly unhoused seniors, low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, and those who can afford market-rate rents.

At the rally, speakers highlighted the One45 project as a model for how neighborhoods across the city can create high-quality workforce housing at rent levels that union members can afford, and help residents stay in neighborhoods where they have lived and worked for years. 

One45 will address a growing need for workforce housing in New York City. Typically, housing development projects only provide housing at market rates and at low-income levels through Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH). That means households headed by one or two union members cannot qualify for typical MIH units, yet often cannot afford market-rate rents. 

The latest proposal for the One45 development would create 915 apartments across two residential towers and a lower-rise 100% affordable building, along with a $7 million renovation of a nearby playground, and new space for community-based organizations, a healthcare facility, and local minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) from Harlem. Lenox Tower would include 308 total apartments, with 205 market-rate units and 103 affordable units—77 of which are MIH and 26 of which are categorized as “workforce housing.” The tower known as 145 Building will include 517 total apartments, with 174 affordable units—130 MIH and 44 workforce. The 100% affordable building would include at least 90 apartments for very/extremely low income New Yorkers.

“We came out in force today to demand well-paying union jobs for Harlem families," said 32BJ SEIU President Kyle Bragg. "At a moment when unemployment remains stubbornly high throughout our city, we should look to models like One45 that will allow us to rebuild New York’s economy and deliver a ticket to the middle class. We call on our city’s leaders to support this common sense project, which will allow Harlemites to stay in their neighborhood and provide rents union members can afford.”

According to Barrie Smith, President of 100 Black Construction Workers, and an executive board member of Laborers’ Local 79, where he also serves as a Harlem business agent for the union, “More than 300 Laborers’ Local 79 members live in the New York City Council district where One45 will be built. This project will create good union construction jobs and much-needed affordable housing for Harlem residents who are seniors, low-income, moderate-income, and earning union wages. One45 shows how the city can create mixed-income developments to tackle the affordability crisis that impacts New Yorkers across a range of income levels. I urge everyone in the New York City Council to support One45. Many long-time Harlem residents will benefit from this project. The One45 development will be woven into the fabric of the Harlem community, and include ground-floor space for Pathways to Apprenticeship, where formerly incarcerated New Yorkers will receive training for careers in the construction trades."

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