The 56-unit Sydney House in New York City is the largest Habitat for Humanity multifamily development. All the residents will be first-time home buyers.
The 56-unit Sydney House in New York City is the largest Habitat for Humanity multifamily development. All the residents will be first-time home buyers.

The world’s largest Habitat for Humanity multifamily development has completed construction in New York City.

Located in the Williamsbridge neighborhood of the Bronx, Sydney House features 56 homes for low- to moderate-income families. Officials say it is the largest multifamily building built by a Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

It’s also the first development financed under the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD’s) Open Door homeownership program as part of mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing 2.0 plan. The program helps fund the construction of affordable cooperative and condominium buildings.

Sydney House residents are all first-time home buyers, providing 1% cash down payments and accessing a Habitat for Humanity 2%, fixed-interest-rate mortgage made possible through the State of New York Mortgage Agency. Homeowners also fulfilled Habitat for Humanity's “sweat equity” program and participated in financial and homeownership education.

“Sydney House is the manifestation of the idea that ownership and equity go hand in hand, and that affordable homeownership 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 homeownership opportunities across New York City and Westchester.”

The Habitat for Humanity affiliate teamed with the Almat Group on the project.

“Without developments like Sydney House, my younger brother who’s a teacher wouldn’t be able to live in the same neighborhood he grew up in,” said Uche Alozie, principal at Almat Group. “As market-rate developers, we must always remember that our city, our market potential, is not complete if we do not also offer homeownership opportunities for people who work in the city, who keep the subways running, who teach and take care of our children.”

Sydney House consists of 26 one-bedroom, 23 two-bedroom, and seven three-bedroom apartments as well as a shared 2,000-square-foot recreation space.

The building was designed by Union Street Studios and constructed by Mega Contracting. Amenities include on-site laundry, homeowner storage, parking for vehicles and bicycles, and a green roof. Located near the 2 and 5 subway lines, homeowners also have easy access to the nearby Bronx Zoo, Bronx Park, Van Cortlandt Park, Pelham Park, and City Island.

The $29 million project included $9.4 million from HPD’s Open Door program, $2.24 million from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and $4 million in discretionary capital from Bronx Borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. and the People of City Council District 12. The balance of the project was financed through developer equity and a construction loan provided by JPMorgan Chase.

Habitat NYC has more than 200 homes in its construction pipeline and recently announced that it is expanding its mission to serve Westchester County, New York.