Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan today announced a major milestone in the New Housing Marketplace Plan: 55,000 units of affordable housing have now been funded, one-third of the 165,000 unit plan. The $7.5 billion plan is the largest municipal affordable housing plan in the nation’s history and will build and preserve affordable housing for 500,000 New Yorkers over ten years. Begun in July 2003 as a 65,000 unit plan, the New Housing Marketplace Plan was more than doubled in February 2006 to a 165,000 unit plan. The City has funded over 73,000 affordable housing units since the Mayor took office in 2002, including the 55,000 units funded under the housing plan. The Mayor also announced today the completion of the Glenmore Gardens development and presented keys to new homeowners. Located in East New York, Glenmore Gardens is comprised of nine innovatively designed and environmentally sustainable two-family homes developed by Just Green Resources LLC on City-owned land through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s New Foundations program. The homes, which are part of the Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, have been sold to middle-income families earning up to $70,000. In August of 2005, Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Donovan were in East New York to announce that the last vacant lots in the City’s portfolio were being transferred to not-for-profit organizations or developers for affordable housing.
“The City is on track to reach our goal of creating enough affordable housing for 500,000 New Yorkers, more than the entire population of Atlanta,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “New York City is in the midst of an incredible residential construction boom that is building much-needed housing for our growing population. While we continue to foster private residential construction, we are also harnessing the strength of the market to spur the development of affordable housing for working New Yorkers who are vital to the City’s economic future. This 55,000 unit milestone shows that we are making great progress in realizing the most ambitious municipal affordable housing plan in the nation’s history.”
Under HPD’s New Foundations program, sponsors purchase City-owned land and construct one- to four-family homes and/or cooperatives/condominiums to provide homeownership opportunities to low- moderate- and middle-income families. Designated developers are responsible for the design, construction and marketing of the homes. Developers are responsible for obtaining or providing all necessary construction financing from private sources. A limited amount of city, state and/or federal subsidies are available to assist developers with achieving affordability for their projects. Upon completion of construction, the developer sells the homes to families who have agreed to occupy the home purchased. At least one unit in the home must remain owner-occupied for 15 years following the initial purchase of the house from the developer. More than 600 units of affordable housing have been developed through the New Foundations program. The New York City Housing Development Corp. (HDC), issues bonds, and low-interest mortgages to developers of affordable housing, including units built under the New Foundation program.
“By developing vacant City-owned land over the past two decades, we have helped revitalize neighborhoods like East New York that were once written off and abandoned. Now that the challenge of abandonment has been met and the supply of City-owned land is nearly exhausted, we are faced with the challenge of affordability,” said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan. “The City is addressing affordability through new tools in the Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace Plan and providing more opportunities for homeownership. The 2005 Housing Vacancy Survey reported homeownership in New York City at 33%, the highest ever recorded. The Glenmore Gardens development is an excellent example of how the City is encouraging the integration of quality design and sustainability with affordable housing.”
“Under the New Housing Marketplace Plan, HDC has become the leading issuer of affordable housing bonds in the nation, and we surpassed our original five-year commitment to the plan in just two and a half years,” said Emily A. Youssouf, President of HDC. “New York City affordable housing bonds issued by HDC are the obligation only of HDC – not of the City’s taxpayers. We look forward to continuing to fulfill our portion of the plan as bond financing will play an important role in affordable housing creation.”
Just Green Resources LLC is a development team comprised of E T Partners LLC, Della Valle Bernheimer, and CPC Resources, Inc. CPC Resources oversaw the financing and E T Partners oversaw the construction of the development and marketing, which was handled by Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of New York City - East Flatbush Division, while Della Valle Bernheimer, an architectural firm, was co-developer and responsible for the design concept. In response to the New Foundations Request for Proposals, Della Valle Bernheimer formed an architectural team with three other firms, ARO, Briggs Knowles Architecture+Design, and Lewis-Tsurumaki-Lewis, and led this unique collaborative design process through the development phases. Each architectural firm was responsible for designing a pair of two-family houses, integrating common materials, and creating a thematic design concept for the entire development. In addition to design excellence, the Glenmore Gardens homes incorporate environmentally sustainable features, such as recycled aluminum panels, energy-efficient appliances and substantial planted areas.
“We are very proud to have provided a new and exciting homeownership opportunity for New York City and the families that will live here in Glenmore Gardens,” said Richard Eaddy and Philip Tugendrajch of ET Partners LLC. “We appreciate the commitment of Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Donovan and HPD staff to affordable housing and this innovative project. We are pleased that we could create well designed, unique and affordable homes in an East New York neighborhood that was once in distress.”
“Glenmore Gardens is the result of a unique collaborative design effort and demonstrates that design excellence can be successfully integrated with the development of affordable housing,” said Della Valle Bernheimer Principal Andrew Bernheimer. “By extending the traditional design parameters, we hope Glenmore Gardens will serve as a model for future affordable housing developments in New York City.”
CPC Resources provided over $2.5 million in funding for the development, and tohelp reduce construction costs, the Housing Partnership Development Corporation took ownership during construction and offered technical assistance.
“CPC Resources is thrilled to be able to work with such committed partners in creating environmentally sound affordable housing for first time home buyers in East New York. The families purchasing these homes were able to buy significantly below market with many of them earning less than 80% of the area median income, ” said Michael D. Lappin, president and CEO. “We will continue to work to support the Mayor’s vision of creating quality affordable housing for New York’s low-income and transitional neighborhoods with new projects and developments over the next ten years.”
“We are delighted to have played a significant role in making Glenmore Gardens a reality. The push to create more affordable housing continues in a very different climate than it did years ago,” saidDaniel Martin, President and CEO of the Housing Partnership. “We are helping both nonprofit and for-profit developers create new homes by acting as an intermediary among the developers, the City of New York, public and private funding sources, and affordable housing advocates.”
The marketing of the Glenmore Gardens homes was done by NHS of New York City - East Flatbush Division, a not-for-profit housing organization. Their role was to provide financial, educational and technical assistance for applicants who were selected through the lottery process.
Tonya Ores, Executive Director of NHS of East Flatbush stated that “NHS received over 2,500 applications for these nine homes. This only proves that we need to continue to find innovative ways to create affordable housing in New York City. I commend the City of New York and its partners for their efforts.”
One of the recently completed nine two-family homes at Glenmore Gardens has been purchased by Olateju Ogunremi, who moved to New York City from Nigeria in 1999. Mr. Ogunremi is a supervisor at the New York City Department of Homeless Services and resides in the East New York community with his wife and three children. As residents of the community, the Ogunremi family received a community board preference through HPD’s housing lottery system for their new home on Van Siclen Avenue. Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of New York City oversaw the sales of new the homes at Glenmore Gardens and the selection of homeowners. NHS also provided counseling services and grants to the homeowners.
“Under New York City’s innovative programs, like the New Housing Market Plan, thousands of families has been able to move their families into quality homes,” said Olateju Ogunremi. “Today is a great day for my family and as more houses become available, it’s a great thing for New Yorkers.”
The Mayor was joined at the announcement by HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Della Vella Bernheimer Principal Andrew Bernheimer, E T Partners LLC Partners Phil Tugendrajch and Richard Eaddy, CPC Resources President and CEO Michael Lappin, and President and CEO of the Housing Partnership Development Corporation Daniel Martin and Tonya Ores, Executive Director of Neighborhood Housing Services of East Flatbush.