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New York will expand and renovate 4 subsidized housing districts


Lyudmila Balabay

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The New York City mayor's office has announced its intention to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Fulton Elliott-Chelsea renovation project in Manhattan (New York).

The City of New York, through the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), has issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS for the Fulton Elliott Chelsea Homes Redevelopment Project in Manhattan, New York ).

As part of its program Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) NYCHA intends to apply to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to obtain the right to: 1) manage housing stock; 2) transformation of housing subsidies according to Section 9 to housing vouchers under the program Section 8 Project Based Vouchers (PBV) within the framework of Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and Title 18 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (USHA).

This NOI initiates a public study of the EIS and provides information about the project's proposed activities, their purposes and necessity, and the alternatives being considered to evaluate the EIS. The NOI also provides for public comment on the potential environmental impacts of proposed actions.

Comments on the draft scope of work (Draft Scope of Work – DSOW) will be accepted at public meetings and in writing until Tuesday, February 20, 2024. Instructions for submitting comments are below.

Interested members of the public and agencies may submit comments regarding the proposed scope of work, the objectives and rationale for the proposed actions, the identification of alternatives, and any other issues or analysis related to the project.

Written comments can be sent by email: [email protected] and in printed form at: Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Attn: Anthony Howard, 100 Gold Street, #7-A3, New York, NY 10038.

For more information, contact Anthony Howard, Director of Environmental Planning, Department of Home Preservation and Development (Building and Land Management Division): 100 Gold Street, #7-A3, New York, NY 10038; Email: [email protected].


The City of New York, through HPD as the responsible entity pursuant to 24 CFR 58.2(a)(7) and NYCHA as the local project sponsor pursuant to 40 CFR 1501.7(b), is publishing this EIS preparation NOI for the proposed home improvement project. Fulton Elliott Chelsea in Manhattan (New York).

Proposed actions that will be assessed in the EIS include replacing existing NYCHA buildings at the Fulton, Elliott, Chelsea and Chelsea Addition Houses campuses in Manhattan. Under the PACT program, NYCHA intends to apply to HUD to: 1) dispose of public housing properties in accordance with USHA Title 18, as amended, and implementing 24 C.F.R. part 970 (“Title 18”); and 2) converting subsidies under Title 9 of the Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437g) to PBV subsidies under Title 8 of the Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f). ).

Under the PACT program, NYCHA will enter into a long-term lease agreement for the land comprising the project sites with Elliott Fulton LLC, a joint venture between Essence Development and its affiliates (and/or their subsidiaries). Such HUD-assisted activities and projects require an environmental permit and require an EIS.

HPD and NYCHA will prepare an EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA Rules, HUD Project Implementation Rules, and, as appropriate, New York State law on environmental quality assessment.

Photo: IStock

Project objects

The project includes four NYCHA housing developments: Chelsea, Chelsea Addition, Elliott and Fulton Houses, which are located on two separate public housing campuses in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The project plan includes 2 NYCHA residential units (DUs), community center space, recreational facilities and 056 additional parking spaces.

Because they are separated by approximately a quarter of a mile, Fulton and Elliott Chelsea are described separately. The Fulton Houses are bounded by West 20th Street to the north, 9th Avenue to the east, West 16th Street to the south, and 10th Avenue to the west. The Fulton Houses project consists of eleven buildings, including three 25-story buildings and eight seven-story buildings. These buildings were constructed in the early 1960s and contain 944 residential units, housing approximately 2100 residents. Hudson Guild, a multi-service, not-for-profit community agency serving those who live, work or go to school in Chelsea and the surrounding area, operates a community center and office space at the Fulton Houses project site.

There are many uses around the Fulton Houses project site, including residential, commercial, institutional and open space. These uses are subject to various basic zoning regulations that apply to specific geographic areas (zoning districts). Zoning districts in the immediate vicinity of the Fulton Houses project include:

  • residential area R7B with commercial development C2-5 along 10th Avenue north;
  • commercial district C2-6A (equivalent to residential district R8A), residential district R8 with commercial overlay C2-5 and residential district R7B to the east;
  • production area M1-5 in the south;
  • commercial district C6-3 (equivalent to residential district R9) and residential district R8A with commercial district C2-5 along 10th Avenue to the west.

Some of these properties are in the West Chelsea Special District, an area that has special zoning rules. These regulations may modify or supersede the underlying zoning.

Elliott Houses, Chelsea Houses and Chelsea Addition Houses (collectively called Elliott Chelsea in the project) are bounded by West 27th Street on the north, 9th Avenue on the east, West 25th Street on the south and 10th Avenue on the west. with Chelsea Park adjacent to the north side of the site. Elliott Houses was built in the 1940s. The campus includes four 11-12-story buildings. These buildings contain 591 residential units and are home to approximately 1200 residents. There is also an early development center.

Chelsea Houses was built in the early 1960s. The campus includes two 21-story buildings. They contain 425 residential units and are home to approximately 1000 residents.

Chelsea Addition Houses was built in 1968. This is one 14-story building. The building has 96 residential apartments and is home to approximately 110 residents. The building is designated for aging families (42 USC 1437e). Hudson Guild operates a community center, offices and recreational facilities located within the Elliott-Chelsea Houses project.

There are many uses around the Elliott-Chelsea Houses project site, including residential, institutional, commercial, open space, and transportation/utility services (the Manhattan Vehicle Maintenance Facility of the United States Postal Service and the New York City Department of Sanitation Maintenance Facility, both located between 11 12st and XNUMXth Avenues). Zoning districts in the immediate vicinity of the Elliott-Chelsea Houses project site include:

  • commercial district C6-4 (residential equivalent of R10) north of Chelsea Park (which, as a mapped parkland, has no zoning designation);
  • residential area R8 in the east;
  • commercial district C2-6 (residential equivalent of R8) in the southeast;
  • residential areas R7B and R8A in the south;
  • commercial district C6-3 (residential equivalent of R9) and industrial district M1-5 to the west (together with the West Chelsea special district).

Project justification

As stated above, Elliott Houses were built in the 1940s, while Chelsea Houses and Fulton Houses were built in the early 1960s. Chelsea Addition was built in 1968. The buildings and premises in these complexes are seriously deteriorated and require significant repairs. Problems include, but are not limited to, persistent mold and leaks, lead-based paint, outdated mechanical and electrical systems, and outdated fixtures and fittings. These problems negatively impact the quality of life in these homes.

The goal of the proposed project is to improve the quality of life for residents of Fulton and Elliott Chelsea. This will be done through the construction of new PBV housing for all existing residents, as well as through affordable housing through the PACT program. The project will also help build additional affordable housing units to address the severe shortage of affordable housing and housing in general in New York City.

This will help address New York's severe affordable housing shortage by building hundreds of new housing units (both affordable and market rate). New affordable apartments will directly address the shortage by increasing New York's affordable housing stock, while new market-rate apartments will indirectly address the shortage by increasing New York's overall housing supply.

The project will also facilitate the development of additional public amenities, retail, and open space for the benefit of NYCHA residents and surrounding communities.

Proposed actions within the project

The proposed project includes the following activities:

  1. Phased demolition and replacement of all existing residential units and public spaces at the project sites.
  2. Phased construction of new mixed-use buildings, including residential units (affordable and market rate), new public spaces, and new retail facilities (including supermarkets) at the project sites.

The proposed measures will facilitate the gradual replacement or modernization of the following facilities:

  • 2 residential units (DU) at the Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea sites;
  • Approximately 67 square feet of existing public facilities space currently managed by Hudson Guild;
  • 95 additional parking spaces.

Two alternatives for bringing the project to fruition have been identified and will be analyzed in the EIS: the “Rezoning Alternative” and the “No Rezoning Alternative.”

The rezoning alternative would require approval from the New York City Planning Commission (CPC). This alternative would result in additional construction:

  • 3 new residential units, comprising up to 454 affordable DUs (up to 1% of the total) and up to 038 market rate DUs (up to 30% of the total). Affordable DUs will be built in mixed-income buildings to meet New York City's mandatory inclusionary housing (MIH) requirements;
  • up to 46 square feet of local retail space (including supermarkets);
  • 108 additional square feet of public space;
  • 1 additional parking on site at Fulton Houses.

The no-zoning alternative would not require CPC approval. It will lead to additional construction:

  • up to 1 additional new residential units, including up to 783 affordable DUs and 536 market rate DUs in new mixed-income buildings. Affordable DUs will be constructed in mixed-income buildings and documented in the NYCHA Operating Agreement and other transaction documents between NYCHA and the PACT partner;
  • up to 29 square feet of local retail space (including supermarkets);
  • up to 132 additional square feet of public space;
  • 1 additional parking on site at Fulton Houses.

The proposed actions will include the phased demolition of all 18 existing buildings at the project sites and their phased replacement with new buildings. The implementation of the project will be designed to minimize disruption to residents living on site. The estimated completion date of the project is 2040.

Photo: IStock

The rezoning alternative proposes constructing 15 new buildings ranging from 11 to 39 stories in height with 96 additional on-site parking spaces. The alternative would build 17 new buildings ranging in height from 11 to 39 stories without changing zoning.

The EIS will analyze environmental changes at project sites under both the rezoning alternative and the no rezoning alternative. These alternatives will be compared to the no action alternative, which assumes that existing buildings will be retained, no new construction will take place on project sites, and routine maintenance and repairs will continue. This analysis ensures that the potentially most significant environmental impacts resulting from the proposed action are taken into account in the environmental review.

In October 2023, the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) stated that inspection was required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for the Elliott Chelsea Homes. This property is eligible for listing on the State and National Register of Historic Places (S/NR). Section 106 requires outreach and consultation with SHPOs and interested parties or agencies. Explanatory work will also be carried out among the general public.

In addition to Section 106 outreach and consultation, project implementation requires federal, state, and local approval. These include HUD approvals for public housing dispositions under HUD Title 18 and NYCHA Board approval.

The rezoning alternative would require CPC approval under the New York City Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). Land use actions submitted to the CPC for consideration will include:

  • amending the zoning map to create zoning districts that will accommodate the proposed volume and height of buildings;
  • an amendment to the zoning text designating project areas as Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Areas (MIHA);
  • Special Permit for Large Scale General Development (LSGD).

The no-zoning alternative would not require CPC approval.

Each alternative will be assessed at an equal level of detail for each potential impact category. The analysis will be conducted in accordance with the applicable screening thresholds.

Suggested Alternative Actions

In accordance with CEQ regulations, the EIS will consider a number of reasonable alternatives (40 CFR 1502.14) for the proposed project. NEPA requires that each alternative be evaluated to an equal level of detail. Currently, alternatives for evaluation in the EIS include:

  1. An alternative to inaction;
  2. Rezoning Alternative;
  3. Alternative without rezoning.

Need for EIS

The proposed project described above could have a significant impact on environmental quality. CEQ implementing regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508) and HUD regulations (24 CFR part 58) require the preparation of an EIS in accordance with NEPA requirements.

Comments on this EIS notice will be used to:

  • identification of significant environmental problems;
  • developing a list of alternatives to consider;
  • identifying the problems that the EIS should address;
  • identifying agencies and other parties that will be involved in the EIS preparation process.

Likely environmental impacts of the project

Due to the increase in population and construction expansion, the proposed project could have potentially significant environmental impacts in the following areas:

  • land use and zoning;
  • coastal zone management/shoreline revitalization policy (WRP);
  • floodplain management and flood insurance;
  • socio-economic conditions;
  • environmental justice;
  • public facilities and services;
  • open spaces;
  • historical and cultural resources/historic preservation;
  • urban design and visual resources;
  • Natural resources;
  • hazardous materials;
  • water and sewerage infrastructure;
  • solid waste and sanitation;
  • energy;
  • transport;
  • air quality;
  • greenhouse gas emissions and climate change;
  • noise;
  • healthcare.

NEPA's draft scope of work includes a preliminary list of expected permits and approvals from federal, state, and local agencies. HPD and NYCHA will coordinate with appropriate agencies or organizations to ensure compliance with federal and local laws. The NEPA EIS will also assist relevant organizations in any potential CEQR and/or SEQRA findings. HPD and NYCHA invite all interested parties to participate in review meetings.


The publication of this Notice initiates the public review period. Following the scoping study process and finalization of the scoping study framework, preparation of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) will begin. The DEIS will include assessments and analysis of the project's potential environmental impacts.

Once the DEIS is completed, it will be made available to the public in the Federal Register at: The DEIS is subject to public comment for at least 45 days from the date of publication, including public hearings. In addition, the availability of the DEIS and public comment opportunities will be announced through public notices, public mailings, and local media. All interested federal, state, local agencies, and the public are invited to comment on the policy papers and DEIS. Agencies that have jurisdiction over natural or other public resources affected by the project, or have information about project properties that HPD should consider in the DEIS, are encouraged to direct comments to the persons identified in this Notice. No decisions regarding the project will be made at the public meeting.

Following the public study period, HPD, NYCHA, and PACT will synthesize the comments received to develop the final scope of work for the DEIS. The DEIS availability notice is expected to be published in the Federal Register in spring 2024. Following a public comment period on the DEIS, a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) will be prepared. The FEIS is currently expected to be published in the Federal Register in the summer/fall of 2024.

Photo: IStock

Instructions for submitting comments

Instructions for participating in review meetings are available here to register:.

Registration instructions will be available on the NYCHA Project website at least two weeks prior to each public meeting. NYCHA and HPD will hold two in-person review meetings. The first will begin at 18:00 pm on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at the Hudson Guild Fulton Community Center on the Fulton Campus (119 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011).

The second is at 18:30 p.m. on February 7, 2024 at the John Lovejoy Elliott Hudson Guild Community Center on the Elliott Chelsea Campus (428 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001).

NYCHA and HPD will also be holding an online meeting beginning at 16:00 pm on Monday, February 5, 2024 via Zoom (link will be posted on project website at least 10 days before the meeting).

Each meeting will be accompanied by simultaneous interpretation in Spanish, Chinese, Cantonese, Russian and American Sign Language. Persons requiring additional specialized assistance (interpretation services, subtitling) should submit a request by email: [email protected].

The dates of all public review meetings will be announced at least 15 days prior to the meetings in local newspapers and on website.

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