AIRS Program

Affordable Independent Residence for Seniors (AIRS) Program

HPD’s Privately Financed Affordable Senior Housing (PFASH) program facilitates the inclusion of Affordable Independent Residences for Seniors dwelling units (AIRS Units). In order to encourage the construction and renovation of projects that include affordable housing for seniors, a benefit of increased zoning allowances is granted, under the NYC Zoning Resolution.

Benefits of the program

Floor area designated for AIRS provides bonus floor area at a ratio of 1:1, with an increased FAR

There is no dwelling unit factor for such units and developers may choose to condense more dwelling units in the building.

Overall factors and Requirements of the program
  • This applies to any new construction or substantially rehabilitated Quality Housing building in NYC, regardless of the location (except in Inclusionary Housing Designated Areas ‐ VIH).
  • The program works on a bonus ratio of 1:1. For every sq. ft. of AIRS floor area, you get a sq. ft. of bonus floor area, up to the max FAR indicated in the attached chart. You do not have to max out on the FAR.
  • Projects providing at least 20% of the floor area towards AIRS are eligible for an accommodating height bonus.
  • The program requires at least 10 AIRS units, which can also be used to satisfy other programs, such as 421a and MIH.
  • AIRS units are permanently affordable, they must be leased up to a household with at least 1 person that’s 62 years of age or older, at a maximum of 80% AMI.
  • The AIRS units and all common spaces must be designed according to the UFAS accessibility requirements.
  • An amount equivalent to 4% of the floor area designated for AIRS needs to be set aside as accessory, social, and welfare facilities. The Quality Housing required rec space can be utilized for this purpose.
  • There is no dwelling unit factor (density) for the AIRS floor area. However, each AIRS unit must have a net area of at least 325 sq. ft.
  • There are no bedroom mix or distribution requirements, but if combined with another program (Ex. 421a), those requirements will still apply.
Design and construction requirements:

Projects must include a minimum of 10 AIRS Units.

To accommodate households’ ability to age in place, each PFASH Unit and all common spaces must meet UFAS accessibility requirements for both mobility impairment and hearing- or vision impairment. For more information, please review UFAS standards.

Accessory, social, and welfare facilities that are accessible to all building tenants must be provided on-site.

  • The size of this space must be at least equivalent to 4% of the floor area designated for AIRS.
  • The space provided for this use must be clearly identified on the project plans.
  • The Quality Housing required recreational space can be utilized for this purpose as well.

Administering Agent
  • Projects shall enter into an agreement with an HPD-approved Administering Agent to ensure PFASH Units are rented and re-rented in accordance with the regulatory agreement and HPD’s marketing guidelines.
  • Each year, by March 31, Administering Agents shall submit affidavits to HPD attesting that each lease of the previous year complied with applicable requirements. Records supporting these affidavits must be maintained and available for inspection.
  • Reside Affordable LLC, an affiliate of Metropolitan Realty Exemptions, is part of the few approved administrating agents in New York City.
Duration of the affordability of the AIRS units

The term of the Regulatory Agreement will be for 30 year. However, the Certificate of Occupancy is required to have language that will permanently maintain these units as affordable for seniors.

Affordable Independent Residence For Seniors (AIRS)

Frequently Asked Questions

What buildings are eligible for this program?

Any building in NYC that is either newly constructed or substantially rehabilitated. Generally, the benefits of the program target buildings with 33 residential units or more.

What are the benefits of this program?

Floor area designated for AIRS provides bonus floor area at a ratio of 1:1, with an increased FAR.

Can this program be combined with other affordable housing programs?

Units designated for AIRS can also be utilized for other affordable housing programs, such as 421a and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing.

Is there a height bonus that will enable utilizing the increased FAR?

Projects providing at least 20% of the floor area towards AIRS are eligible for an accommodating height bonus.

What are the basic requirements for this program?

  • A minimum of 10 AIRS units is required per project
  • These units must be marketed at 80% AMI
  • These units must be occupied by at least 1 household member over 62 years of age
  • The AIRS units and all common spaces must be designed according to UFAS accessibility requirements
  • An amount equivalent to 4% of the floor area designated for AIRS needs to be set aside as accessory, social, and welfare facilities. Recreational space can be utilized for this purpose.

When does the filing process start?

The AIRS units and applicable accessibility requirements must be incorporated into the plans. Following HPD’s approval, they will issue a Permit Notice that is required by the DOB in order to obtain construction permits.

What is the duration of the affordability of the AIRS units?

The term of the Regulatory Agreement will be for 30 years, however the Certificate of Occupancy will have language that will permanently maintain these units as affordable for seniors.

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