City partners with Lemor Development, Downtown Baptist Church of Christ, and local community organizations to build new affordable housing on vacant land


New York, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) joined project partners from Lemor Development, TD Bank, Street Corner Resources, and the Downtown Baptist Church of Christ to celebrate the start of construction on The Robeson, a new affordable housing development that will create 79 new affordable apartments in the Central Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan.

This project will include the creation of mixed-income affordable housing, along with new commercial and community facility space. In addition, the new building will also create a new home for the Downtown Baptist Church of Christ, finding productive use for three formerly underutilized city-owned lots and adjacent acquired private land.

“It is fitting that Robeson House is named for a family with a long history of community service, because today we’re putting shovels in the ground on a building that will serve the Harlem community for generations to come.  Not only will this new development bring 79 high quality affordable homes for New Yorkers earning a range of incomes, but also a new church, retail space, and a community facility that will foster a safer, stronger Harlem,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “Partnering with local faith-based and community organizations is key to our continued progress towards the Mayor’s housing plan, and I want to thank Lemor Development, Street Corner Resources, the Downtown Baptist Church of Christ  and our colleagues at HDC for their creativity and hard work, as well as Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for championing this project and so many efforts to secure a more affordable city.”

“Through the Mayor’s Housing New York plan, we aren’t just building new affordable housing, we are creating lasting community assets.  The Robeson will pair 79 affordable apartments with a new home for the Downtown Baptist Church of Christ, providing an anchor for central Harlem for generations to come,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Thanks to Lemor Development, the Downtown Baptist Church, Street Corner Resources, TD Bank, Borough President Brewer, and everyone at HDC and HPD who helped to get this dynamic mixed-use, mixed-income project off the ground.”

“We are thrilled to work with HDC, HPD, TD Bank, NYC Acquisition Fund, Downtown Baptist, Street Corner Resources and all of our local partners to start construction on a building that will bring about much-needed affordable housing to the surrounding community,” said Harrison Rayford, Co - Managing Member of Lemor Development Group LLC. “This is a Win Win Win for the Downtown Baptist Church, The City of New York, and the Village of Harlem. We want to thank all involved from government entities to financial organizations that made this deal possible.”

Once complete, the ten-story building will include a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartments. Approximately 16 apartments will be affordable to individuals earning an annual income up to $36,550 and 24 apartments will be affordable to individuals earning up to $58,480. The development will also include middle-income housing for households earning up to $95,030. The financing agreement guarantees permanent affordability on 40 apartments, with 24 of these made possible under the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program.

The Robeson will include two elevators, in-unit heating and cooling, energy efficient appliances, a laundry room, a second floor resident outdoor lounge area, and bicycle parking. A 615 square foot community facility space will be occupied by local anti-violence non-profit organization Street Corner Resources. Street Corner Resources’ mission is to empower young people in an effort to curb gun and gang violence through music, education, job training, employment, and other resources. In addition, there will be 7,498 square feet of ground floor retail space and 3,255 square feet of space dedicated to the future site of the New Hope Spring Grove Downtown Baptist Church of Christ.

The development is named after Paul Robeson, an acclaimed African-American athlete, singer, actor, and civil rights advocate.

Lemor and the development team are committed to a 25% M/WBE participation goal and 35% minority and female workforce participation in construction jobs and new staff positions created. Additionally, the development team will participate in HireNYC.

The project is made possible through $45.45 million in public and private investment and financed under the City’s Mixed-Middle Income (M2) program. TD Bank provided $18.85 million in construction financing that will be paid down by an $18.85 permanent loan from HDC. HDC provided an additional $7.5 million in corporate reserves as a subsidy loan and HPD contributed an additional $13.32 million in City subsidy. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer provided $500,000 in Reso A funds.


About New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC): The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency and is charged with helping to finance the creation or preservation of affordable housing under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan. Since 2003, HDC has financed more than 150,000 housing units using over $21.2 billion in bonds and other debt obligations, and provided in excess of $1.9 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves. HDC ranks among the nation’s top issuers of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing on Thomson Reuter’s annual list of multi-family bond issuers. In each of the last five consecutive years, HDC’s annual bond issuance has surpassed $1 billion. For additional information, visit:

About the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) 

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York Plan which was recently expanded and accelerated through Housing New York 2.0 to complete the initial goal of 200,000 homes two years ahead of schedule—by 2022, and achieve an additional 100,000 homes over the following four years, for a total of 300,000 homes by 2026.  For full details visit and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.