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The September 11th attacks severely impacted Chinatown. The LMDC created and implemented programs to address the needs of Chinatown.
Projects & Programs > ChinatownChinatown
Chinatown Lower East Side Acquisition Program
LMDC allocated $16 million for the preservation and rehabilitation of affordable housing units through the Chinatown/Lower East Side Acquisition and Preservation Program (Chinatown/LES Program). This program funded six projects with a total of 152 units establishing housing that is permanently affordable under rent stabilization. The program focused on the acquisition of mid-size buildings (15-40 units) that had all or a portion of the units under rent stabilization, where average rents are under $1,000. Eligible borrowers for this program were non-profit residential property managers and developers, who agreed to keep units under rent stabilization for a term of 30 years. Additionally, upon vacancy, non-stabilized units had to be lowered to the average stabilized rent and returned to rent stabilization. The Chinatown/LES Program benefits households up to 80% of AMI.
LMDC allocated up to $7,000,000 to fund the Chinatown improvements and worked with the Chinatown Partnership LDC – a community-based, not-for-profit organization that has brought together major civic organizations, cultural institutions, and businesses in the community – which marked a significant milestone for the neighborhood. The Chinatown Partnership LDC was formed in 2004 as a result of the Rebuild Chinatown Initiative (RCI) – a comprehensive community assessment and planning initiative that was conducted by Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) to address the needs of Chinatown in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation (LDC) helped spearhead community improvements in Chinatown, engaging in a combination of short-term projects and long-term planning. LMDC has also worked with various City agencies on Chinatown projects.
Chinatown Clean Streets Program
The Clean Streets program served as a pilot that allowed the community to see first-hand the benefits of this program. The program included manual and mechanical sweeping of the sidewalks, curbs and gutters, frequent removal of bagged litter from street corners, pressure cleaning of sidewalks, graffiti removal, and additional maintenance. The initiative also provided for public outreach and community relations work necessary to ensure that the community understood the benefits of the pilot program and encouraging the community to begin to take ownership of the services over time. The program did not replace any existing services provided by the City’s Department of Sanitation, nor did it affect any type of decrease in garbage service in the geographic area that the program covered. The City of New York Small Business Services developed expertise in overseeing and implementing such programs throughout the City with Business Improvement Districts and LDC’s, and has worked jointly with the Chinatown Partnership LDC.