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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room


September 17, 1999

Carol Abrams
(212) 863-5176

Cassandra Vernon
(212) 863-8076


HPD Commissioner Richard T. Roberts is hosting a block party on Saturday, September 18th, to celebrate the gains that have been made in the development of affordable housing and community revitalization in the Harlem area. The event will be from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. in Marcus Garvey Park, on Madison Avenue between West 121st and 122nd Streets, part of the Mount Morris Home Ownership Zone.

The Mount Morris Home Ownership Zone, a federally funded initiative made possible by a $4.6 million dollar grant which HUD presented to the City in Spring 1998, will enable HPD in conjunction with the New York City Housing Partnership to develop 120 three-family homes which will be sold to families earning between $43,000 and $70,000 a year. The homes will be constructed in the following areas in Harlem:

  • Malcolm Shabbaz Gardens on West 117th and 118th Streets between Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard
  • Fifth Avenue Homes between East 117th and East 118th Streets
  • Madison Park Homes between East 119th Street and 120th Streets, Madison and Park Avenues
  • Mount Morris Homes between East 119th and 120th Streets, Madison and Park Avenues

Since Fiscal Year 1994, HPD has invested more than $270 million in Harlem which has leveraged an additional $300 million in public and private funds. These monies have enabled the construction of more than 11,300 units of affordable housing. Of these, 2,300 are home ownership units. Within this same time frame, more than 1,100 affordable housing units have been completed in the Mount Morris Home Ownership Zone, more than half of which are home ownership units.

Commissioner Roberts said, "I am very pleased to be here today to celebrate and recognize this community's tremendous effort in revitalizing this area. What has been accomplished in Harlem, and in Mount Morris in particular, accentuates what can be achieved when government, community leaders and community-based non-profit groups work together. We have provided new, affordable housing for people. Neighborhood residents now own homes and apartments - a dream many never thought possible. These endeavors have inevitably resulted in economic growth and neighborhood stability in Harlem and this Mount Morris community."

Commissioner Roberts continued, "Harlem's second renaissance will continue. HPD plans to invest $72 million in Harlem in general, with an additional $376 from other sources to build and rehabilitate more than 3,600 units of affordable units, about half of which will be home ownership units. For Mount Morris in particular, this means that an additional 1,000 affordable housing units will be available, 800 of which will be home ownership units. This is a major undertaking, but one that is worthwhile."

The Harlem home ownership celebration featured Our Children's Foundation African dance troupe and step dancers, clowns and pony rides. Representatives from the New York City Police and Fire Departments as well as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also attended the block party. Family members participated in a variety of activities including free health screenings which were offered by North General Hospital.

HPD's programs are part of Mayor Giuliani's comprehensive initiative to rebuild New York City's communities and spur neighborhood growth. HPD's housing programs include the CityHome Program, Homeworks Program, the Partnership New Homes Program and the Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program (NEP).

HPD's mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation's largest municipal housing development agency. Since Fiscal year 1994, the agency has completed the construction and rehabilitation of nearly 58,000 units of affordable housing.

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