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For Immediate Release
June 18, 2010

BUILDINGS COMMISSIONER LIMANDRI AND DOB VOLUNTEERS JOIN WITH HABITAT FOR HUMANITY-NEW YORK CITY TO BUILD AFFORDABLE HOMES IN BROOKLYN

New Homes Being Built for 16 Hardworking Families
in Bedford-Stuyvesant

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri and 20 other volunteers from the Department of Buildings today joined Habitat for Humanity-New York City to build homes for 16 families in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Commissioner LiMandri, Department inspectors, architects, engineers, lawyers and other employee volunteers spent the day performing construction work on the interior of the new buildings, such as installing insulation and measuring, cutting and sanding drywall. This collaboration with Habitat-NYC is the first-of-its-kind for members of the Department.

Department volunteers also worked alongside one of the low-income families who will own these homes. Oumkeltoum Elmoussaoui and Elaiachi Elboute, a married couple who emigrated from Morocco, joined volunteers at the construction site as they prepare to move into one of the homes with their three daughters, ages 6, 9 and 14. The family currently lives in a small two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn.

"A new home means a new life for any family, and that's why this work is so important," said Commissioner LiMandri. "We are proud to join with Habitat-NYC to create high quality, affordable housing that allows hard-working residents of our City to enjoy the benefits of becoming a homeowner. For us, it is an opportunity to improve the lives of others while pooling our resources together outside of our everyday work. We look forward to seeing this project come to fruition."

"Habitat-NYC is honored to welcome Commissioner LiMandri and his staff to our Hart-Lafayette 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 Habitat-NYC construction project consists of two adjacent units at 512 and 514 Lafayette Avenue and single buildings at 544 Lafayette Avenue and 118 Hart Street in Brooklyn. The buildings consist of four-story multifamily affordable structures with a mix of two- and three-bedroom condominiums that will eventually be home to 16 families. Construction on the units started in July 2009 and completion is expected in early 2011.

The City's Department of Housing Preservation (HPD) sold the land for this project to Habitat-NYC for just $16,000. The 16 units are part of Mayor 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 http://www.habitatnyc.org/own_apply.html.

For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/buildings.

Contact:     Tony Sclafani/Jennifer Gilbert (Buildings) (212) 566-3473
                    Beverly Cheuvront (Habitat-NYC) (917) 224-0969

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