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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room

Mayor's Office Press Release #282-03

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 9, 2003

Press Contacts:
Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Carol Abrams (HPD) (212) 863-5176
Joseph Zwilling (Archdiocese) (212) 371-1000

To request a homeownership kit, call 311.
Click here for HPD's lists of affordable homes

MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK
EDWARD CARDINAL EGAN TOUR NEW HOUSING IN
HIGHBRIDGE SECTION OF THE BRONX

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Archbishop of New York Edward Cardinal Egan today attended a ceremony with new homeowners, and City business, housing and community leaders to mark the development of new homes in the South Bronx. Highbridge Homes is comprised of 60 affordable two-family homes, and is located on Shakespeare Avenue between Edward L. Grant Highway and West 172nd Street. Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr., Council Member Helen Foster, Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Jerilyn Perine, Monsignor Donald Sakano, and soon-to-be new homeowners including Anthony Honyo and Carmen Kerr joined the Mayor at the ceremony. The event featured a performance by the renowned, locally based youth chorus, Highbridge Voices.

"We are a City of more than 300 neighborhoods," said Mayor Bloomberg. "They're the places we call home, where our children go to school, our shopkeepers serve their customers, and New Yorkers enjoy family life. That's why affordable housing is fundamental to our long-term prosperity and the crux of my housing plan to build or rehabilitate 65,000 homes and apartments citywide over a five year period."

"How delighted I am to participate in today's effort, in partnership with our great City, to expand homeownership opportunities to families," said Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York. "This City became great, is great, and will always remain great because of the industry, energy, and commitment of families such as those gathered here today to take a look at their new homes. May the lord continue to bless them and all families seeking safe affordable homes."

"Today marks yet another victory for the borough of the Bronx," said Bronx Borough President Carrión. "After decades of neglect, we now have revitalized communities like this one in Highbridge that are flourishing. The success of the Highbridge Homes is found in necessary partnerships between homeowners, local businesses and government all working together for the same outcome: a stable community. This is our success story and it should be the success story for more communities both here in the Bronx and citywide."

Highbridge Homes represent the latest phase in the revitalization of a community virtually abandoned in the 1970's and 80's and follow more than $100 million in City investment
in housing in Highbridge. The City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) constructed or rehabilitated 15,437 homes and apartments in Highbridge in the last 15
years. This has contributed to the repopulation of the area, which experienced a 42% increase in population from 1990 to 2000.

Working closely with HPD, the New York Archdiocese through its affiliate, Highbridge Community Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC), transformed formerly city-owned vacant land and buildings. The neighborhood, once plagued by chop shops and drug activity, now boasts affordable housing, a primary health care center and a new recreation facility and park. The new townhouses will provide homeownership opportunities for families who are ready to buy their own homes.

Each home consists of an owner's unit and one additional rental unit. The sale price for a two-family home was $253,000; 18 prospective homebuyers for the first 18 homes in Phase I have entered into contract. The development was funded by the Highbridge Community HDFC and Reso A money from the Bronx Borough President. HPD has a community preference for all its new homes and newly rehabilitated homes meaning that at least 50% of the new homes are sold to people who currently live in the community; this was the case with Highbridge Homes.

Last December, the Mayor announced that the City would build or rehabilitate 65,000 homes and apartments citywide in the five-year period from July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2008; 10,000 homes and apartments are now in the development pipeline. Of the total, 20 per cent will be owner-occupied homes, furthering the American dream of owning one's own home. Of note, the following objectives in the housing plan have been completed:

  • Completed the rezoning of Park Slope, East Harlem and Morrisania to facilitate housing development.

  • Issued a joint HPD-NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) Request for Proposals (RFP) to submit proposals for development of an affordable rental housing development called University/Macombs Apartments in the Morris Heights area of the Bronx. University/Macombs Apartments will be the first project to be carried out under a recently initiated collaboration between HPD and NYCHA for the development of affordable rental housing in New York City. The property consists of four vacant multifamily buildings containing a total of 180 dwelling units as well as a vacant lot with the capacity for up to an additional 30 dwelling units.

  • Issued an RFP for environmental assessment services to facilitate the development of housing and mixed-use developments on brownfields.

  • Issued the RFQ for the Sea View Senior Housing development on former nursing quarters in the jurisdiction of the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, which is expected to develop 100 apartments for senior citizens.

Tomorrow, October 10th, the blue-ribbon panel created by the Mayor in his housing plan, the Neighborhood Investment Advisory Panel, is meeting at Gracie Mansion. One of the members of that panel is Monsignor Donald Sakano who is responsible for the Archdiocese's housing arm and is responsible for the Highbridge Homes. Monsignor Sakano is a member of the Panel's Homeownership Committee.

"Two-thirds of New Yorkers are renters, and "60% of renters who plan to move say they will most likely buy," said HPD Commissioner Jerilyn Perine. "HPD is working to dispel the notion that many New Yorkers cannot afford to purchase a home in the City by providing information about the home buying process, the affordability of the City versus the suburbs, and homeownership opportunities in the City's neighborhoods."




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