FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2000
Press Contacts: Carol Abrams (212) 863-5176
Kim Brown (212) 863-8076
NEW YORK CITY INITIATIVE A SEMIFINALIST
FOR 2000 "INNOVATIONS IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AWARD"
HPD's Third Party Transfer Program Links Property Tax Enforcement, Housing Redevelopment
Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD) Third Party Transfer Program was selected as a semifinalist for the 2000 "Innovations in American Government Award" presented by the Ford Foundation and Harvard University. The award was established in 1986 to draw attention to exemplary achievements in government problem-solving.
The Third Party Transfer Program was created in 1996 as a result of Local Law 37, which authorizes the City to use the government power of tax foreclosure to transfer tax-delinquent residential property from ineffective owners to responsible new owners. The initiative breaks the cycle of abandonment, reduces City costs, speeds up the rehabilitation of dilapidated buildings, and creates new affordable housing.
"It's an honor to be selected for such a prestigious award," said Richard T. Roberts, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). "The Third Party Transfer program will be pivotal in our efforts to revitalize neighborhoods throughout New York City."
The program was one of 100 semifinalists selected from 1,317 entrants. The group of semifinalists will be pared to 25 finalists in May, and 10 winners will be announced on October 12, 2000.
To date, 46 properties in the Bronx have been transferred to responsible new owners who will renovate, build or use the properties for affordable housing or other community purposes.
Since its inception, the "Innovations in American Government Award" program has recognized 230 innovative programs and awarded $14.6 million in Ford Foundation grants. In 1999, HPD's Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program (NEP) won the award and received a $100,000 grant as one of the nation's best examples of government performance.
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 or rehabilitation of nearly 58,000 units of affordable housing.