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Say No to Timbale Terrace

City Council should not bring in 99 more vulnerable individuals to Harlem which is already over-saturated!

Bring in seniors & artists who need help instead!

Background and Timeline

In 2021, Housing Development and Preservation Corp (HPD) announced it has chosen the Timbale Terrace Development as a part of the RFP process launched in 2019 for the city owned lot on 119th Street and Park Avenue, currently using as the Precinct 25's police carpark. This project is selected despite other proposals submitted by numerous real Harlem based organization that reflects what the community really want. This project brings in a wonderful community organization Afro Latin Jazz Association (ALJA),, and 240 Affordable Housing, many are deeply affordable. But in exchange Harlem residents are asked to take in 99 formerly homeless individuals, many are expected to have serious mental health and/or addiction issues from OUTSIDE of Harlem . The publicly owned lot will be given to Lantern Organization which specializes in providing services to this population, and already manage 2 other buildings, Prospero Hall and Schafer Hall next to this site. For 2 years since the announcement of the Timbale Terrace project, we have been raising our concerns about the proposed Timbale Terrace at the Community Board 11. Below are the records of our complaints, our rationale and our recommendations. Learn more:

WHAT DO WE WANT? 

(1) Find other ways to fund needed Permanently Deeply Affordable Housing in this site, other than using the city's 1515 funding sources, e.g. supportive housing for seniors, grants for performing arts, 100-120 AMI rental units. Consider proposals submitted by real Harlem based organizations

(2) Or, repurpose two existing building Prospero Hall and Schafer Hall for other types of supportive housing rather than individuals with mental health and/or substance use issues 

Fact :  97 units of studio set aside for formerly homeless adults

(1) WILL NOT HAVE COMMUNITY PREFERENCE, i.e. they are assigned by Department of Homeless Services from all over NYC (2) MAJORITY OF THEM WILL BE INTENDED FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE ISSUE (don't believe us? Watch this public hearing excerpt)

We are a group of neighbors living near two sites operated by Lantern Organization. The excessive concentration of vulnerable population here draws in even more drug dealers and drug users.  We are astounded to hear the government would say to expand this social service complex, instead of shrinking it. 

We oppose this project because our district are over-saturated with adult only supportive housing funded by Department of Mental Health, adult only shelters, harm reduction program (including the nation's first Drug Consumption Site), and 14% of NYC's drug treatment capacities. We WANT TO HELP SINGLE HOMELSS INDIVIDUALS, BUT HARLEM CANNOT HELP EVERYONE. WE ARE OVERSATURATED AND CANNOT HELP EVERY ONE IN NEW YORK. OTHER DISTRICTS NEED TO TAKE THEIR FAIR SHARE

How can the government think about bringing in more vulnerable population into Harlem (To be clear, the 99 units of supportive housing will have no community preference). This is definitely not what the community want.

No wonder why Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez opposed the project (see here).  Other officials also opposed this project include Inez Dickens. 

A. The specific location of the lot for Timbale Terrace is over-saturated 

 

7 SRO supportive housing funded by Department of Mental Health are concentrated in zip code 10035, of which 6 of them are within 1 to 5 blocks from the proposed Timbale Terrace. The intersaction of 118th and Park Avenue is an open-air drug use scene. See some videos taken by the neighbors here : 

Our Objection to Timbale Terrace: Oversaturation

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B. East Harlem is over-saturated by 4 government agencies 

See data from the Greater Harlem Coalition at www.greaterharlem.nyc for more 

It is being used as New York City's containment zone to put people others 58 districts don't want to see

East Harlem is oversaturated by multiple agencies : See data from the Greater Harlem Coalition at www.greaterharlem.nyc for more 

It is being used as New York City's containment zone to put people others 58 districts don't want to see

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Harm Reduction Programs

Near the proposed site to the north are 3 needle exchange and one Drug Consumption Site

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Adult Only Shelters

10% of NYC's adult only sheltlers is in East Harlem, a district of 1.4% of NYC's population

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Methadone Clinics

14% of NYC's capacity is in East Harlem, a district of 1.4% of NYC's population.

Other concerns: Mismanagement of Lantern Organization

Although Lantern does not have a strong track record in operating such services, in an era where supportive housing are in desperate need, the Mayor is awarding a bigger contract to an incompetent organization. What a way to hold social service provides accountable?!   

Click here to

  1. view the tenants of Prospero Hall complain about the conditions inside Prospero Hall and the community gardeners next door complain about quality of life issues.,

  2. see photos of needles on the community garden next to Prospero Hall)

  3. The list of complaints and recommendations from the tenants listed here:

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What HPD does not want you to know About the Project

1

Myth: 50% of the housing will be preserved by Harlem residents

50% of the 240 affordable units will be reserved for Harlem residents. 

But to be 100% clear, individuals qualitified for the 99 supportive housing will NOT be given preference for local residents. They will be assigned by Department of Homeless Services and Human Resource Administration. They can be from anywhere in NYC

2

Myth: If we house people with mental Health issues , then Harlem's streets will have fewer open-air drug use

Not, that's not true. It would be true is 100% of these 99 supportive housing are set aside for Homeless people who are loitering near the area. But as confirmed in CB11 meeting, there is NO COMMUNITY preference for these 99 units of housing. I.e. these homeless individuals will be from All Over NYC

3

Myth: This project reflects what residents want in our listening session in 2014 and 2017

This is a lie. In these listening session, no one asked the government to bring in 99 vulnerable population from OUTSIDE to Harlem to get services. What Harlem residents want is truly affordable housing to prevent displacement and to help our own residents. We don't have enough social support to help our own residnets as is.

Quotes from Community Board Meetings

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Timeline:

2017 East Harlem Plan

2019 RFP for the project

Below are Public hearing of Timbale Terrace project.

 

2022 Jan 19th: HPD present the Timbale Terrace Project. Full video here 

(1) Our neighbors Steve Travis expressed concerns of the Timbale Terrace development

2023 Feb: Public hearing of complaints of overdoses and safety issues inside Prospero Hall by tenants and nearby gardeners

2023 July Pre-ULRRP hearing: on 

  1. July 6th Housing Committee: full video (start 11 minutes)

  2. July 12th Human Services Committee: full video (start 23 minutes)  Notable clips:

    1. Chair of CB11 explain there are many ways to fund permanently affordable housing. ​

    2. Long time resident near Prospero Hall and Timbale Terrace expressed safety concern for his daughter

    3. Lantern Org confirmed 97 units of studio apartment is expected to service those with mental health and substance abuse issues.

  3. July 14th LandUse Committee: full video. Notable clips:

    1. HPD said there is little room to change the project

    2. The previous chair of CB11 Nelsa Orama expressed the same quality of life concerns as one neighbor 

    3. Our neighbor Omar eloquently expressed our concerns

  4. July 20th Economic Development Committee (listen to the chair who expressed concerns of oversaturation, ilsten to the small business owners next to the site voice concerns)

Let’s Work Together

Contact us tell us how to advcate for Harlem. Any tips on the problem

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