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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room


September 25, 2001

Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Contact:Carol Abrams (212) 863-5176

New York City Housing Partnership
Contact:Bud Perrone (212) 843-8068
Rubenstein Associates

East Harlem Welcomes New Affordable Townhouses

Housing Officials, Community Leaders and the Business Community Celebrate Completion of Fifth Avenue Homes - 40 Three-Family Homes in the Heart of Harlem

East Harlem, N.Y. - September 25, 2001 - Homeowners, community leaders and a unique public/private partnership of lenders, developers and public officials celebrated the latest wave of new construction that has swept through Harlem as they cut ribbon on 40 affordable three-family townhouses in East Harlem.

Fifth Avenue Homes, located on East 117th Street, East 118th Street and Fifth and Madison Avenues, was developed through the New Homes Program, jointly sponsored by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York City Housing Partnership. The program brings affordable homeownership to low- and moderate-income homebuyers, while boosting the economy through public and private investment in New York City neighborhoods.

Nearly 2,000 people applied for a home in the development, which includes 40 handicapped-accessible units. More than 40 percent of the new homeowners currently live in Community Board 11.

HPD Commissioner Jerilyn Perine said, "Fifth Avenue Homes demonstrates the importance of public private partnerships in revitalizing neighborhoods by providing quality, affordable housing and promoting homeownership for all New Yorkers."

Each four-story brick home in the development is 3,600 square feet and includes a three-bedroom owner's unit, with ceramic tile and wood floors, as well as two two-bedroom rental units. Funds from the City, the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC) and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) helped reduce the costs of the homes which sold for an average of $302,318. Twenty-one homes were sold to buyers earning between $40,000 and $42,000. The rest were sold to buyers earning less than $75,000.

"This successful public/private partnership is part of our continued commitment to Harlem's well-publicized renaissance," said Housing Partnership President George Armstrong. "Together, we are providing wonderful homeownership opportunities and encouraging significant private investment in this neighborhood."

The $16.6 million development by the Briarwood Organization was sponsored locally by Hope Community, Inc. JPMorgan Chase Community Development Group provided a $10.4 million construction loan, which was insured by the State of New York Mortgage Agency.

"AHC and SONYMA are committed to providing the financial resources necessary to help hard working New Yorkers become homeowners," said Stephen J. Hunt, President and CEO of AHC and SONYMA. AHC provided $1.2 million in subsidies to help lower the cost of the homes. "This grant is just one example of how the agencies are fulfilling Governor Pataki's commitment to create affordable housing in New York State."

The projct lies in an area designated by HUD as a Homeownership Zone in 1998. The designation of the Mount Morris Homeownership Zone resulted in $4.6 million federal grant to the area, with a special emphasis on neighborhood revitalization, homeownership and construction on vacant properties. HUD contributed $1.6 million to Fifth Avenue Homes.

"Housing Secretary Mel Martinez has made homeownership one of his highest priorities - that's why we are so pleased that HUD's partnership in this effort promoted not only affordable housing but neighborhood revitalization of the Harlem community as well," said Maryann Wilson, Acting Secretary's Representative for New York and New Jersey.

HPD and the Partnership have created nearly 1,100 affordable units of housing in Harlem through the New Homes Program, with another 631 in predevelopment or construction. Housing Partnership programs in Harlem have generated millions of dollars in public and private investment.

The Housing Partnership is the development arm of the New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce, an organization dedicated to maintaining a strong and diversified economy in the five boroughs.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development'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 70,545 units of affordable housing.

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