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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 22-05
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Carol Abrams (212) 863-5176


HOUSING COMMISSIONER DETAILS PROGRESS ON MAYOR'S HOUSING PLAN

42% of the Way to Mayor Bloomberg's Goal of Creating and Preserving 68,000 Homes and Apartments

Housing Commissioner Shaun Donovan today released a Progress Report on the first two years of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's $3 billion New Housing Marketplace plan to fund the creation and preservation of more than 68,000 homes and apartments over five years. The Progress Report shows that at the end of the second year of the plan, 28,550 units have been completed or funded. Even with a recent increase in the plan to 68,000 units (from the original goal of 65,000) the Bloomberg Administration is ahead of target, 42 percent of the way to reaching the five-year goal. Seventy six percent of the units created and preserved are expected to go to families with incomes under $50,240 per year for a family of four.

Mayor Bloomberg said, " We have made enormous progress towards our goal of providing affordable homes for 200,000 New Yorkers. By fostering the conditions that encourage a robust housing market, we have convinced housing developers that this is a city with a boundless future - one where businesses want to locate and expand, and where people want to live and raise their families. Last year, new housing construction in New York reached a 32-year high, and continues to climb. This new construction is crucial to the City's future because it provides homes for the 840,000 new residents New York has added since 1990. The construction boom will help to relieve the housing shortage that is driving rents and prices beyond what many can afford. But a housing boom alone will not meet all our needs - we must also ensure that a large share of the new housing is affordable to low- and middle-income New Yorkers. Even before the announcement of the New Housing Marketplace plan my Administration had already completed 18,550 units of affordable housing. The 68,000 units of housing being created and preserved through the plan brings us that much closer to fulfilling the great promise of New York as a city of opportunity for all."

The Mayor's plan addresses New York City's changing housing marketplace. In the 1970s and 1980s, the City became the "landlord of last resort", eventually assuming ownership of more than 100,000 units of housing and thousands of vacant lots surrendered in tax foreclosure following the widespread arson and abandonment of neighborhoods primarily in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and northern Manhattan. Today, the City's centrally managed stock has shrunk to fewer than 2,400 units. This represents a dramatic decrease of 95 percent of the in rem stock since 1994. With a dwindling supply of city-owned properties, the City has to find new ways to create affordable housing.

Commissioner Donovan said, "The New York City success story of revitalizing neighborhoods through City-owned land is admired around the world. Now in the new housing marketplace we are making use of new tools to ensure that affordable housing continues to be built and preserved in every borough. We are working with other government agencies and our private and non-profit affordable housing partners to create new homes and new opportunities for thousands of New Yorkers."

The report details progress on the two areas of focus that make up the 68,000 unit goal: creating new affordable housing, and preserving existing housing as affordable.

Creating New Affordable Housing

In the first two years of the New Housing Marketplace plan, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) have started new construction of 12,229 affordable units, more than 40% of the five-year target of 28,500 new units. The Progress Report charts substantial progress on creating affordable housing:

  • In 2005, three major rezonings proposed by the Bloomberg Administration in Hudson Yards, Greenpoint-Williamsburg and West Chelsea were adopted. Changes to the use and density of previously under-utilized land should result in the creation of approximately 30,000 new housing units. Thanks to an aggressive inclusionary zoning policy that gives developers a density bonus in exchange for constructing affordable housing, 8,500 of those units will be affordable.
  • In August 2005, HPD announced four Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for private and non-profit housing developers to create more than 3,200 units of mixed-income housing in all five boroughs, the last major RFPs HPD will conduct on city-owned land taken in rem through tax foreclosure.
  • HPD is collaborating with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to create additional affordable housing on NYCHA land. Nine initial projects will result in up to 1,800 new affordable units - with additional projects already in the planning stages.
  • In April 2005, HPD's existing budget for supportive housing was increased by 65%. The new Ten-Year Capital Plan includes $472 million in funding. This increase and other new resources will make good on the Mayor's commitment to create 12,000 units of supportive housing with our state and federal partners as part of a sweeping strategy to re-direct the City's response to homelessness.
  • In April 2005, Mayor Bloomberg and New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. proposed the creation of the New York City Housing Trust Fund, which will be funded by $130 million in Battery Park City Authority revenues. The Fund would be used to create or preserve 4,500 affordable housing units over the next four years.

Preserving Affordable Housing

HPD and HDC have started the preservation of 16,321 units, more than 40% of the five-year target of 39,500 rehabilitated units. The Progress Report highlights that:

  • Through its refinancing and repair loan programs, in the first two years of the plan HDC funded the rehabilitation of 6,501 units in Mitchell-Lama developments across New York City and extended their affordability for at least fifteen years. An additional 558 units in Mitchell-Lama developments, whose owners participated only in HDC's refinancing program, have been preserved for an additional 15 years.
  • With support from the MacArthur Foundation, HPD held a national preservation symposium in June 2005 to develop strategies for preserving 250,000 assisted housing units in New York City, including HUD properties, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit developments, and Mitchell-Lama developments.
  • In Fiscal Year 2005, over 25,000 people enrolled in HPD education classes such as Lead Awareness, Safe Work Practices, Building Finance, Fair Housing and Advanced Property Management for Owners.
  • HPD has been implementing the new lead law, Local Law 1. 298 new personnel have been hired to implement the law, including 108 lead inspectors. In Fiscal Year 2005 HPD issued 35,729 lead violations, a dramatic increase from the 20,068 violations issued in Fiscal Year 2004.
  • HPD kicked off the Bushwick Initiative, where HPD staff went door-to-door in a 23-square block area in Bushwick, Brooklyn and assessed conditions in 757 residential and mixed-use properties. These assessments are the first step in a comprehensive effort to improve housing conditions in the area.
  • The Bloomberg Administration and the City Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in July 2005 to conduct building-wide inspections in buildings where extensive housing code violations persist to ensure that all New Yorkers live in safe and decent housing. The MOU targets approximately 7,000 units per year.

The report includes examples of New Yorkers who have realized the American Dream through tools provided by the New Housing Marketplace Plan. For example, Lucesita Collado who has moved into a new house in Rheingold Gardens, Brooklyn says of her search for a home, "I looked for almost four years but everything was so small and so expensive. Then I found out about Rheingold Gardens." The Collados applied successfully to the lottery and are now delighted to own an affordable, spacious two-family house in a new neighborhood created through city-sponsored programs on the former site of the Rheingold Brewery in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The Rheingold development site includes 61 two- and three-family homes, thirty cooperative and rental units, commercial development and open space. Ms. Collado is pleased with her three bedrooms, multiple closets, private backyard, and easy commute to her job. She is also excited to be a part of building a new community. "We already know our neighbors; it's terrific to be part of something new-this is a great place to live."

The Progress Report is available by clicking here.

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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 over 229,000 units of affordable housing. To request a Homeownership Kit or for information abut affordable rental housing, call 311 or log on to www.nyc.gov/hpd

 




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