FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2004
Contact: Miguelina Zorrilla (646) 210-4233
Carol Abrams (HPD) (212) 863-5176
COUNCILMAN MIGUEL MARTINEZ AND HPD ANNOUNCE HIGH TECH SECURITY SYSTEMS TO PROTECT TENANTS IN 16 CITY-OWNED BUILDINGS IN WASHINGTON HEIGHTS
Councilman Miguel Martinez, 2204 Amsterdam Avenue Tenants Association President Fred Clavijo, and HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan
Councilman Miguel Martinez (D-10th district) and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan today announced installation of state of the art security systems at 16 city-owned buildings participating in HPD's low-income tenant-owned cooperative program known as TIL. The council member provided $200,000 of city capital money toward the purchase of color surveillance cameras, video recorders and monitors. The announcement was made at 2204 Amsterdam Avenue, one of the buildings with new security measures in place.
"We're grateful to Council member Martinez for providing funds for these high tech security systems that promise to give tenants and their visitors an improved level of comfort," said HPD Commissioner Donovan. "We take the health and safety of our tenants very seriously."
"Now that we are increasing homeownership in my district through the HPD TIL program, I want to make sure that families feel safe and secure in their homes while the renovations are completed," said Councilmember Martinez.
2204 Amsterdam Avenue Tenants Association President Fred Clavijo said, "My wife Rosa and I have raised our three daughters in this building where we've lived since 1970. My neighbors and I been working very hard to enable us to buy our apartments, and we thank the councilman for his support. The security system makes us feel safer and adds value to our building."
The Tenant Interim Lease Apartment Purchase Program (TIL) provides assistance and training to organized tenant associations in city-owned buildings of three or more apartments to develop economically self-sufficient, low-income tenant income cooperatives. Tenants receive intensive training in building management, maintenance and financial record keeping. HPD funds the complete rehabilitation of the buildings, using private construction management firms to supervise and do the work. Since rental income must cover the operating expenses, ongoing repairs and management fees, rents are restructured to insure that the building remains financially viable after sale. After renovations are completed, the buildings are sold to cooperative corporations established by the tenants, and the individual tenants purchase shares for their apartments for $250. Re-sale of the apartments is restricted to purchasers whose maximum household income no more than 120% of the area median income ($75,360 for a family of four).
Since 1979, HPD has created 880 low-income cooperatives with 17,752 apartments through TIL; another 333 buildings with 5,670 apartments are currently in the program, with tenant associations actively working toward sale and their eventual ownership.
2204 Amsterdam Avenue with 18 apartments and two commercial storefronts was transferred to city-ownership in 1977 after the private owner had stopped paying property taxes. The tenants association gained admission to the TIL program in 2000. Its officers have completed formal training and are now managing the building. HPD expects rehabilitation to begin in 2008.
Other buildings receiving security systems funded by Councilman Martinez are: 21 Arden Street, 79-81 Post Avenue; 511 West 171 Street, 516 West 161 Street, 522 West 174 Street, 536-538 and 544-546 West 163 Street, 55 West 186 Street, 566 and 570 West 191 Street, 568 West 173 Street, 631 Academy Street and 2110 and 2185 Amsterdam Avenue.
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 1987, the agency has completed the construction or rehabilitation of more than 223,000 units of affordable housing. To request a Homeownership Kit or for more information about affordable rental housing, call 311 or log on to nyc.gov/hpd