FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE20 HARLEM TOWNHOUSES RETURNED TO FORMER GRANDEURUnique City Homeownership Program Assisting Harlem Renaissance
April 17, 2002
Carol Abrams (212) 863-5176
Kim Brown (212) 863-8076
Helen Steblecki, Citigroup CCDE (212) 559-1414
New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Jerilyn Perine today congratulated the new owners of 20 Harlem townhouses rehabilitated through the City's HomeWorks Program. Standing on the steps of 8 East 127 Street, only a few doors away from the home of Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes, Perine and developer/builder Thomas Metallo, President of TNS Development Ltd./ Great American Construction Corp, and Mary Cosgrove, Director of Citigroup CCDE for the New York metro region, joined elected officials and community leaders at a celebratory ribbon cutting.
The HomeWorks Program, designed to rehabilitate small vacant city-owned properties (acquired by the City through tax foreclosure), is helping restore blocks of the elegant townhouses for which Harlem is famous. These 20 townhouses are being revitalizing with the help of a $5.3 million construction loan provided by Citigroup Center for Community Development Enterprise (CCDE). TNS Development Ltd. received nearly 1000 applications for the 20 houses, many of them classic brownstones that include from one to four rental units each. Sales prices ranged from $369,495 to $569,700. Each house features wood detailing, 8' high solid embossed wood interior doors, granite kitchen counter tops and name brand appliances, a rear deck, hardwood floors throughout, tile baths and glass and wood double entry doors. Buyers include 9 current Harlem residents with another 5 from Manhattan, 3 from Queens, two from the Bronx and one from Brooklyn.
The HomeWorks Program promotes an income mix in formerly distressed neighborhoods by imposing no income limits for either the homebuyers or the renters of the rental units. However, to insure affordability, lenders usually allow low down payments and use the income from the rental apartments in qualifying homebuyers for mortgage loans. The City provides partial tax abatement to the homebuyers who must live in the house as their primary residence for at least six years. A component of the City's homeownership initiative, the HomeWorks Program has rehabilitated 274 units of housing in Harlem and 542 units citywide since its inception in 1998. Since 1994, HPD programs have provided over 5000 units of homeownership opportunities in Harlem and almost 13,000 units citywide.
Commissioner Perine said, "Along with our many partners, we are helping City residents to attain their dream of owning a home. HomeWorks Program demonstrates the power of public private partnerships which have been key to the City's longstanding commitment to invest in Harlem."
Developer/builder Thomas Metallo said, "I am pleased to participate in the renaissance of this world famous neighborhood and proud of the beautiful living spaces our company has produced. I congratulate the buyers and thank Citigroup CCDE for working with me."
Citigroup CCDE NY Metro Area Director Mary Cosgrove said, "The revitalization of such an historic area involving these beautiful brownstones in Central Harlem is very rewarding to participate in. Through the City's innovative HomeWorks program, Citigroup CCDE has been able to work with a highly creative and skilled development team including TNS Development Ltd., whose renovation of these homes are extraordinary."
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 1987, the agency has completed the construction or rehabilitation of 180,000 units of affordable housing. To request a Homeownership Kit, call HPD's Information Line at (212) 863-8000. For more information about affordable rental housing, call HPD's Affordable Housing Hotline at (212) 863-5610 or log on to nyc.gov/hpd.
CCDE is a member of Citigroup (NYSE: C), the preeminent global financial services company with some 200 million customer accounts in more than 100 countries that provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup's trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Travelers. Additional information may be found at: www.citigroup.com.