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For Immediate Release
July 28, 2011


New Construction will Give 12 Families an Opportunity for
Home Ownership

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri and Acting First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fariello, R.A., joined Habitat-NYC Executive Director Josh Lockwood and 20 employees from the Department of Buildings to build affordable housing units at 1812 St. John’s Place in Brooklyn. For the second year in a row, inspectors, architects, engineers, lawyers and administrative assistants volunteered their time to construct walls and install Sheetrock for 12 first-time homeowners. The Department’s employees worked alongside one of the future homeowners, Elba Roman, who is moving in order to provide extra space for her family, including her two teenage sons. The structure under construction is a four-story building with 12 units consisting of two- and three-bedroom condominiums. Construction of the St. John’s Residences Condominiums, which are located in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville section, is expected to be completed in 2012.

“A new home can be a catalyst for positive change in any family, and we are honored to join with Habitat-NYC as we create a new home and a second chance for 12 deserving families,” said Commissioner LiMandri. “Construction is vital to the growth of this great City, and the Department plays a critical role in facilitating that development each year, including the creation of thousands of new homes and new offices for New Yorkers. Today is a wonderful opportunity for our employees to work side by side outside the office and help these families build a new life together.”

“Our employees are dedicated to making New York City a better place to live, work and build, and this program exemplifies how we are striving to help members of the community,” said Acting First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fariello, R.A. “I am proud to participate in this program, and I commend our staff members who volunteered their time today in order to make a difference in the lives of these deserving New Yorkers.”

“Habitat-NYC is honored to welcome Commissioner LiMandri and his staff to our St. John’s Place project to build affordable homes with us today,” said Josh Lockwood, Executive Director of Habitat-NYC. “We applaud the men and women of the Department of Buildings, who not only are committed to ensuring that New York City families have safe, secure homes – but are willing to put their time and muscle into building affordable homes.”

The land for the St. John’s Residences Condominiums was sold by the City’s Housing and Preservation and Development Corporation to Habitat-NYC for $12,000. The units are part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s 165,000-unit affordable housing plan, the largest municipal affordable housing plan in the nation’s history.

Habitat-NYC is a non-profit organization that creates affordable green homes for individuals and families in need. Habitat homeowners must earn between 50% - 80% of the City’s area median and put in at least 300 service hours per adult to help build their homes. Purchase prices for units start at $125,000 and average $183, 125. Participants must be first-time home buyers and are guaranteed to pay no more than 33% of their gross household income on monthly housing expenses.

Slots in the project are still available. To learn more about qualification requirements and enrollment procedures, interested families can visit

For more information, visit\buildings.

Contact:     Tony Sclafani/Jennifer Gilbert (Buildings) (212) 566-3473
                     Beverly Cheuvront (Habitat-NYC)
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