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STATEN ISLAND, NY — City officials visited Staten Island on Tuesday to discuss a project to transform properties devastated by Hurricane Sandy into 23 new housing units.

Those units will be spread across Midland Beach and South Beach and will be divided into seven single-family homes and eight duplexes. They will be sold to buyers earning 80 to 100 percent of the area median income, or those earning about $111,000 to $150,000 annually, according to Stephen Erdman, executive director of homeownership and shared equity at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

“We’re thinking about firefighters, EMTs, nurses – you know, families of workers,” he said. “The kind of people that currently live in Staten Island and the community, that’s really who the project is for.”

Each of the properties was part of the city’s Build It Back program, which typically helped repair homes devastated by Hurricane Sandy after the 2012 storm. In some cases, however, the city bought the homes.

Sandy Properties Thursday, June 13, 2024

The city government plans to redevelop this property on Hamden Avenue (pictured Thursday, June 13, 2024). (Staten Island Advance/Paul Liotta)

HPD plans to sell the lots with the 15 houses for $1 each to Urban Ecospaces, a company that specializes in resilient construction of affordable housing.

This company will later sell the homes at affordable prices set by HPD to first-time buyers, who will be required to occupy the buildings themselves for a set period of time and will have the option to rent out additional units on their property.

The 23 units will be spread across each of the 15 buildings, according to HPD, and will consist of 11 three-bedroom units, eight two-bedroom units and four one-bedroom units.

All houses are built using prefabricated modules, a more cost-effective and sustainable construction method.

Tamia Perry, CEO of Urban Ecospace, said they have worked on the island before as part of Build it Back, as well as in Queens and Brooklyn.

“(A prefab home) looks just like a regular home. The only difference is it comes in modules or like LEGO bricks,” she said. “When you build on site from the ground up, there’s less disruption to the community, so we thought that would be better. The community has already been through a lot with the hurricane.”

Open Door Project Tuesday, July 2, 2024

An artist’s rendering shows the future site of a Midland Beach home on Hamden Avenue that will be part of a New York City program. (Courtesy: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development)Print quality

The partnership between New York City and Urban Ecospaces began following a request for proposals in 2018. The new homes will be part of HPD’s Open Door program.

This program typically funds the construction of cooperative and condominium buildings that are affordable to middle- and moderate-income families, but also the construction of new one- to three-family homes, if the lot size allows. The city may also help cover a portion of the construction costs.

City Councilman David Carr (R-Mid-Island/South Brooklyn) said last month he is working with the city and the developer to ensure Staten Island residents have an early opportunity to purchase the homes.

“These are properties acquired through the Build It Back Acquisition for Redevelopment program, where new single- and two-family homes will be built that meet post-Sandy resiliency standards and comply with local zoning regulations,” he said. “I am currently working to ensure that the city and the developer publicize the application process locally so that Staten Island residents can take advantage of these new homeownership opportunities.”

Open Door Project Tuesday, July 2, 2024

An artist’s rendering shows the future appearance of a Midland beach house on Greeley Avenue that will be part of a New York City program. (Courtesy: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development)Print quality

Carr’s office shared some documents it received from Urban Ecospaces describing its efforts to market the homes to Staten Island residents under HPD guidelines. The homes will be sold through a lottery system that gives preference to Staten Island residents, according to HPD.

All buildings would be constructed within existing zoning and would fit into the context of the neighborhood, an HPD spokesman said.

The properties to be developed are located in South Beach, 123 Father Capodanno Blvd., and in Midland Beach, 398 Hamden Ave., 181-187 Moreland St., 176 Kiswick St., 455-457 Lincoln Ave., 521 Lincoln Ave., 111 Grimsby St., 770 Patterson Ave., 529 Greeley Ave. and 1144 Olympia Blvd.

Richmond County records show that several of these properties are listed in a transfer to HPD, with several other properties in New Dorp Beach and Oakwood Beach not included in the affordable housing project.

HPD has not yet confirmed what will become of the other properties, but Urban Ecospaces’ website states that their local project will be a 40-unit project consisting of 24 properties scattered across Staten Island.

A virtual hearing on the current project will be held on July 24 at 10 a.m., where the public will have the opportunity to provide comments. The dial-in number for this hearing is 1-646-992-2010 with the access code 717 876 299.