FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENYC HOUSING AGENCY PROFILED IN PUBLIC TELEVISION SERIES Segment to Highlight Award-Winning Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program
November 8, 2002
Carol Abrams (HPD) (212) 863-5176
Kim Brown (HPD) (212) 863-8076
Sarah Olson (Visionaries, Inc.) (413) 229-0350
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will be profiled in the upcoming season of The Visionaries, the public television series focused on nonprofit and public service organizations around the world hosted by acclaimed actor Sam Waterston of Law & Order. In New York City, the episode of The Visionaries on HPD will air on Saturday, November 16th at 2:30 p.m. on WNET, Channel 13, and on Friday, December 6th at 9:30 p.m. on WNYE, Channel 25.
The episode focuses on New York City's Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program (NEP). In 1994, HPD created NEP to accelerate the sale and rehabilitation of dilapidated, City-owned buildings and to increase community property ownership. A total of 356 buildings with 3,292 dwelling units and 93 commercial units have been rehabilitated since the program was implemented.
In particular, the episode focuses on one block in Harlem, West 140th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. HPD Commissioner Jerilyn Perine said, "This block was really one of the worst that we had seen. Every private owner had pretty much walked away from this block, leaving hundreds of tenants living in dilapidated conditions. The only owner we really had left on this block was the U.S. Postal Service."
HPD, along with private investors, rehabilitated 25 buildings on the block for the benefit of the existing residents through an investment of nearly $45 million. Lois and Milton Manning were the neighborhood entrepreneurs for six of the 21 buildings on the West 140th Street block. Mr. Manning said, "When I got this opportunity, it was a dream, to be able to provide proper homes for people to live in." Mrs. Manning added, "I think of 140th Street as like a gem in Harlem right now."
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 nearly 204,000 units of affordable housing.