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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room

Friday, October 6, 2006

Moikgantsi Kgama, Director of Communications & Development
Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. (HCCI)
212-281-4887, ext. 21


Harlem’s First Green Building Developed Exclusively for Low-Income Residents










Today, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. (HCCI) and co-developers celebrated the groundbreaking for the David & Joyce Dinkins Gardens (The Dinkins), an affordable green housing development in Harlem.   

Named in honor of former Mayor David N. Dinkins — New York City’s only African-American Mayor — the Dinkins is Harlem’s only green building developed exclusively for low-income residents. Located at 263 West 153rd Street, this $19 million, 85-unit, low-income development will dedicate 30 percent of its units to youth who have aged out of foster care and will include the environmentally friendly Green Grid Roofing System.

This roofing system’s benefits include reduced energy costs, reduced urban “heat island” effect, sound insulation, longer roof life, improved aesthetics, and storm-water management. Rainwater harvested from the roofs will be used to irrigate the property’s landscaping and community garden, and to clean the front sidewalks of the building.  Other notable green features include sun shading and an innovative in-plank ventilation system.

“HCCI is extremely proud to build a green housing development in this low-income community.  This project demonstrates how we can go beyond basic amenities to creatively address issues of environment and sustainability,” said Lucille McEwen, President and CEO of HCCI.  ‘Our partnerships with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Enterprise, JP Morgan Chase Bank, the, developer Jonathan Rose Companies and the Home Depot Foundation have enabled us to build housing that is both environment-friendly and affordable.”

The Dinkins will serve as a model for the development and construction of new affordable housing, integrating sustainability and affordability. This will be a critical development for providing affordable housing for families and individuals earning less than $48,000 annually in a high-cost housing market. To maximize affordability, the City sold the land for the development for a nominal fee of seven dollars.

“Today we celebrate the beginning of a new affordable Harlem development that will partner sustainability and affordability, making ‘green’ building elements, such as sound insulation, accessible to low-income families,” said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan. “The Bloomberg Administration is committed to creating more opportunities to build affordable housing in Upper Manhattan so low income families can benefit from the area’s revitalization. The David and Joyce Dinkins Gardens is part of the Mayor’s plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing for 500,000 New Yorkers over ten years, enough housing for the entire population of Atlanta.”

Construction of the building was financed with $13 million in bond proceeds and a low-interest mortgage from the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), the nation’s number one issuer of multi-family affordable housing bonds.  “David & Joyce Dinkins Gardens is a beautiful example of how innovative financing programs are attracting private capital to help empower underserved communities,” said Emily A. Youssouf, president of HDC. “We are extremely proud to be involved in making this great project a reality.”

JPMorgan Chase Bank provided a $10,000,000 Letter of Credit to underwrite the HDC bonds during the construction and lease up phase.  Elliot J. Hobbs, Vice President at JPMorgan Chase said that "JPMorgan Chase is one the leading providers of construction financing for affordable housing in the Harlem community and we are proud to continue that record by financing David & Joyce Dinkins Gardens.”

“Access to quality affordable housing is the first step towards helping people improve their lives, as well as the life of their communities,” said Jim Himes, Director of Enterprise New York. “Our investment in the David & Joyce Dinkins Gardens will help to ensure access to affordable housing while promoting a healthy, environmentally friendly and vibrant community. As a leader in providing affordable housing in New York, Enterprise is proud to contribute to a project that will provide so many individuals, families and young people with the opportunity to turn their dreams into reality.”  

Enterprise provided $9 million in tax credit equity, in addition to a $50,000 Enterprise Green Communities grant.  The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development funded $2.5 million in essential gap financing through its Mixed Income Rental Program (MIRP). A $50,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation will support installation of the Green Grid roofing system.  In addition, former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields provided a $500,000 grant that will benefit the Construction Trades Academy (CTA) to be housed in the Dinkins. The CTA provides local residents with skills in the construction trades and building maintenance industries.


Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc.

            HCCI is a diverse interfaith consortium of more than 90 congregations established to revitalize the physical, economic, cultural, and spiritual conditions of the Harlem community.  HCCI has made a substantial impact on the social and living conditions prevalent in Harlem by developing low to moderate income housing; creating supportive health and human service facilities and programs; providing commercial development opportunities to local businesses; and expanding cultural programs. For more information about HCCI visit our website at

The New York City Housing Development Corporation

The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is the nation’s number one issuer of bonds for multi-family affordable housing. Established as a public benefit corporation by the State of New York in 1971, HDC is responsible for financing the creation and preservation of affordable housing in New York City. The financing provided by HDC is in the form of low-cost mortgages made through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds. These mortgages are provided to developers for the construction and preservation of affordable housing. In addition, through their own corporate reserves, HDC provides second mortgages from its own corporate reserves usually at a 1% interest rate.


Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For more than two decades, Enterprise has pioneered neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested $7 billion in equity, grants and loans and is currently investing in communities at a rate of $1 billion a year. EnterpriseNew York has been working to revitalize low-income communities across New York City since 1987.  In that time, Enterprise New York has housed over 59,000 men, women, and children, developed more than 21,000 affordable homes, and committed almost $1.4 billion in equity, grants, and loans to community development projects across the city. 

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD)

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing development agency and is in the midst of implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan.  This plan, to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years, 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.



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