Elizabeth Street Garden to be replaced with affordable housing for seniors

Crystal Cranmore Image
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Beloved community garden to be replaced with affordable housing
An appeals court ruled in favor of a low-income housing project for senior citizens to replace Elizabeth Street Garden in SoHo. Crystal Cranmore has the story.

SOHO, Manhattan (WABC) -- It is a 'Would you rather?' question no one wants to answer: a community garden or low-income housing.

An appeals court Tuesday night ruled in favor of an affordable housing project for senior citizens to be built at the site of the Elizabeth Street Garden in SoHo.

Community activists have been fighting to protect the garden for at least a decade and are outraged by the decision.

For residents of bustling SoHo, the community garden tucked between Prince and Spring streets is an oasis.

"It's shocking how peaceful it is for the neighborhood it is in," Akriti Sobti said. "I'd be sad to see it go."

But proponents argue that affordable housing is a necessity.

"There's a huge housing shortage," Darryl Granger said. "Do you know how much rent is in this town? It's ridiculous."

The 123-unit complex would also include 16,000 square feet of garden space.

Members of Elizabeth Street Garden plan to appeal to the court's decision.

"We're going to keep pushing for a solution that achieves more affordable housing and preserves all of this for the community," said Joseph Reiver, executive director of Elizabeth Street Garden. "That solution does exist even if the city wants to ignore it."

The city owns the land where Elizabeth Street Garden resides.

"We look forward to delivering these 123 new, affordable, LGBTQ+ friendly homes for older New Yorkers, and we will continue advancing projects in every corner of the city to tackle the severe housing shortage driving this affordable housing crisis," HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr said.


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