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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room


September 14, 2000

Press Contacts: Cheryl Lyons 516-327-7863


Homeowners Benefit From Increased Access to Low- Interest Property Improvement Loans

Lake Success, NY - September 14, 2000 - The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) presented Astoria Federal Savings, a participant in the city agency's Home Improvement Program (HIP), with a $300,000 check at a ceremony held today at the Astoria Federal main banking office in Astoria, Queens. HIP is designed to provide low- and moderate-income homeowners with below market rate home improvement loans.

HIP, administered through Astoria Federal's Community Reinvestment Act program, is supported by city capital funds which reduce the principal of the bank issued loan to the borrower. The no- interest New York City loan, in combination with the bank's funds at the current conventional rate, gives the borrower either a 2.5% or 5% effective annual interest rate for the combined loan amount. "Astoria Federal's partnership with HPD is part of our ongoing commitment to make a direct and positive impact on the quality of housing in the communities we serve," said George L. Engelke, Jr., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Office of Astoria Federal. "As a result of this program, our customers will gain access to much-needed home improvement funds they could not otherwise afford."

"This relationship with Astoria Federal Savings is part of our continuing efforts to improve the quality of housing for New Yorkers by encouraging owners to invest in their homes," said Jerilyn Perine, Commissioner at HPD. "One homeowner used a HIP loan to replace gutters, ceilings and a door awning which restored the integrity of her property and benefitted her tenants as well as her own family." HPD is the nation's largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. A major responsibility of the agency is to encourage the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards.

The HIP loan can only be obtained from participating banks that have entered into an agreement with HPD. Homeowners and community-based not-for-profit affordable housing groups interested in learning more about HIP eligibility requirements should contact Chris Gillen, Manager of Consumer Loans at 516-327- 7650. HIP loans are available to homeowners in all five boroughs of New York City.

Astoria Financial Corporation, the holding company for Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association with assets of $22.2 billion, is the second largest thrift institution in New York state and sixth largest in the United States. Astoria Federal, through its eighty-seven banking offices, provides retail banking, mortgage, consumer and small business loan services to 700,000 customers. Astoria Federal commands the third largest deposit share in the attractive Long Island market, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties, with a population exceeding that of thirty-nine individual states. The bank's internet home page is located at

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