A Bit about PVCG History and the Threatened Land
Pleasant Village Community Garden (PVCG), located in East Harlem on Pleasant Avenue between 118 & 119th streets, formed as a community garden around 1973. Through the efforts of GreenThumb and HPD, we gained access to the HPD land in 2011. This lovely extension of the garden - which we cleared of debris and bricks, and transformed and rehabilitated - is now used for:
Our chicken coop, which hosts six chickens who produce eggs that are shared with the community
Our compost bin, which collects food scraps from the garden and surrounding community, and thereby diverts 4,000 pounds of organic waste from landfills annually
Our Children's Garden, where we produce food donated to Edible Schoolyard's locally-sourced and low-priced market located at P.S. 7 (corner of Lexington Ave & East 120th) and the Little Sister of the Assumption East Harlem food pantry.
In December 2014, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) released a request for qualification (RFQ) for 144 "vacant" lots throughout the city to be developed under NIHOP & NCP programs. The PVCG rear lot (Lots 5 & 6, Block 1815) is among these 144 lots, which HPD plans to develop under the Neighborhood Construction Program (NCP).
The goal of the NCP program is to build “small [~15 to 30-unit] affordable multifamily rental developments." The maximum area median income (AMI) allowed through this program is 165% of the AMI. Thus, the building will be able to rent to households of two or more, who earn up to $149,490 or to a single person who earns up to $104,775. The median income in East Harlem was $31,079 during 2010-2012, far below the target range through this so-called affordable project.
The City has not yet communicated with garden members about this development nor our impending partial eviction or relocation...
We have used this land productively to the benefit of the local community. It is incomprehensible to us how this city-owned, public land can be sold to a private developer for $1.
Why doesn't the City build elsewhere
on a truly vacant lot?
Click on 'honeycomb' for images of HPD land present & past