Amsterdam Houses

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The Amsterdam Houses

The Amsterdam Houses are a housing project in New York City that were established in the borough of Manhattan in 1948. The project consists of 13 buildings with over 1,000 apartment units. It covers a 9-acre expanse of the Upper West Side, and is bordered by West 61st and West 64th Streets, from Amsterdam Avenue to West End Avenue, with a 175-apartment addition that was completed in 1974 on West 65th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and West End Avenue. It is owned and managed by New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).[1][2]


The Amsterdam Houses were created on land that was once tenement buildings and were created for residents to have a higher standard of living. Three playgrounds were built for children of various ages and the development housed a nursery, gymnasium, clinic and a community center. With the opening of Lincoln Center in the 1960s, the neighborhood began to gentrify and saw many older residents retaining their apartments with 70% of heads of households over the age of 62.[3] The demographics living in this development were initially mixed, as it served to house post-war families in affordable housing. Today, mostly black families occupy the Amsterdam Houses.[4]

In 2016, NYCHA announced that a new residential tower, containing entirely affordable units, would be built on the development's open space in the center. The land would be leased to a developer, who would also operate the building, for 99 years, while the land would continue to be owned by NYCHA.[5] After the announcement, the tenant association began working with lawyers and city-wide NYCHA residents to bring about a class action lawsuit and draft a formal response to the proposal.[6][7]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MyNYCHA Developments Portal". Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  2. ^ "Amsterdam & Amsterdam Addition" (PDF).
  3. ^ Bloom, Nicholas Dagen; Lasner, Matthew Gordon (2016). Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places, and Policies That Transformed a City. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691167817.
  4. ^ Kilgannon, Corey (2004-08-02). "The Neighborhood Ties That Still Bind". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  5. ^ Smith, Anthony Izaguirre, Greg B. "NYCHA putting its 'underutilized' land in hands of developers to build more affordable housing". Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  6. ^ "Frederick Douglass residents vow lawsuit as NYCHA details development timeline". Columbia Daily Spectator. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  7. ^ "NYC Alliance to Preserve Public Housing Response to NYCHA Draft FY2017 Annual Plan". Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  8. ^ a b "Which NYC Housing Projects Have Produced the Most Famous People?Amsterdam Houses". Complex. Retrieved 2016-10-27.[unreliable source?]