HOUSING COMMISSIONER SHAUN DONOVAN AND COUNCIL MEMBER MIGUEL MARTÍNEZ ANNOUNCE THE REHABILITATION OF 631 ACADEMY STREET IN INWOOD
City will create affordable homeownership for existing tenants
New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan and Council Member Miguel Martínez announced today the rehabilitation of 631 Academy Street in Inwood, Manhattan , as part of HPD’s Tenant Interim Lease Program (TIL). HPD’s TIL program rehabilitates neglected buildings and creates opportunities for affordable homeownership, a key part of Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan. The Mayor’s Plan will create and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years, the largest municipal affordable housing plan in the nation’s history. Funding for the $3 milllion gut renovation was made possible with $200,000 of city capital money allocated by Council Member Martinez, capital funding from HPD and support from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
The building, a five-story walk-up with twenty-three units and two commercial spaces, is currently under renovation which is expected to be completed by spring 2007. After enduring years of neglect by a private owner, the property was taken into city ownership and accepted into HPD’s TIL program. Through HPD’s TIL staff, the tenants’ association is receiving assistance and training on how to form a cooperative. TIL buildings are typically sold to cooperatives approximately two months following the completion of rehabilitation work.
“The residents of 631 Academy have shown their commitment to this building and Inwood by creating a tenants’ association, helping to manage the property and sticking with the neighborhood. The City has responded by providing an opportunity for them to own their homes, stay in their community and share in the revitalization of Inwood,” said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan. “Working with Council Member Martinez, the City is preserving affordable housing for long-time residents of Inwood and maintaining a vital and diverse neighborhood. The Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace Plan is creating affordable housing throughout New York City . The $7.5 billion plan will provide housing for 500,000 New Yorkers, more than the entire population of Atlanta .”
The $200,000 allocated by Council Member Martínez will be used towards the exterior renovation, including new crown molding, some landscaping and a new entryway. Funding from NYSERDA will go towards green and sustainable features that will help the environment and save money over the long-term. Green features will include new windows, pipe insulation and light fixtures. One of the commercial spaces will be converted into a laundry room. During the renovations, tenants of 631 Academy Street have been relocated to other buildings in HPD programs and will return to their original units once the work has concluded.
“Over the past years, HPD’s TIL program has successfully created numerous homeownership opportunities for the people of Inwood, allowing residents to stay in the neighborhood where they’ve raised their families and developed roots,” said Council Member Martinez. “Affordable homeownership is critical to improving the quality of life for the residents of Inwood. I want to thank HPD for creating this opportunity.”
"NYSERDA is pleased to play a role in helping New Yorkers obtain affordable housing. Through the New York Energy $mart Assisted Multifamily Program, NYSERDA will help fund the installation of new energy-efficient windows, pipe insulation and energy-efficient light fixtures," said Peter R. Smith, President and CEO of NYSERDA. "Not only will these tenants be owners of their own home, but they will be owners of an energy-efficient home that will help them realize reduced energy cost and a more comfortable living environment for years to come."
HPD’s TIL program provides guidance to organized tenant associations in City-owned buildings of three or more apartments to develop economically self-sufficient, low-income tenant owned 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. 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 is no more than $85,080 for a family of four.
At the announcement, HPD Housing Education staff used the Agency’s Handy Van to demonstrate to residents how to maintain their renovated apartments. The Handy Van is a mobile classroom that provides housing education to residents in their own neighborhood. The Handy Van offers information and training on basic home repairs, electrical safety, gas safety, enhanced affordability through energy efficiency, and home health safety issues.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation’s largest municipal housing development agency and is implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation’s history. HPD also encourages the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards.