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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 5, 2008

Miriam Solis (212) 863-8481


CPC & PARTNERS “RESCUE” PHOENIX ESTATES APARTMENT COMPLEX IN THE BRONX

Foreclosed by HUD, four rental buildings will now be rehabilitated to house 125 families

Bronx, December 4, 2008 – The holidays came earlier for residents of Phoenix Estates LLC (formerly known as Hunt’s Point 1), as they were joined by The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), the not-for-profit Phoenix Estates Housing Development Fund Corp., and state and local officials, to celebrate the commencement of a major rehabilitation of four properties in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the South Bronx. 

In response to tenant concerns, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) had foreclosed on the buildings because of poor management by their former owners.  The buildings, located at 717-719 Coster St., 739 Coster St., 741 Coster St., and 671 Manida St., were subsequently sold to Phoenix Estates LLC, a joint venture of New York ACORN Housing Company, Inc. (NYAHC) and We Stay/Nos Quedamos, Inc.   

“One of the most dreadful scenarios we face is having rent-paying families forced from their homes because of ownership’s mis-management.  In this case, the property had been neglected to the point where foreclosure was the only option,” said Ismene Speliotis, Executive Director, New York ACORN Housing Co. and Mutual Housing Association of New York.  “By taking back and rehabilitating this property, we are not only providing hard working families with a better place to live, but reclaiming the neighborhood for future generations to come.”

“Nos Quedamos would like to take the opportunity to thank all those involved through this long and difficult process, especially the United We Stand Tenant Association, Congressman José Serrano, New York City Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, and HUD and HPD, Pat Coleman from Tenant & Neighbors, CPC, and all those who have been involved, said Yolanda Gonzalez, Executive Director of We Stay/Nos Quedamos.

“HUD has no higher mission than to ensure that residents residing in HUD-assisted rental units live in safe, decent, and affordable housing,” said Teresa Bainton, the NY Multifamily Hub Director.  “That is why HUD is so pleased to have played a part in the renovation of Phoenix Estates, and to have worked with New York ACORN Housing Company, Inc., We Stay/Nos Quedamos, Inc., The Community Preservation Corporation, Enterprise Community Investment Partners and the New York City Department of Housing Preservations and Development in making this happen.  I cannot think of a better gift for these residents during this holiday season.”

CPC, in partnership with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), will provide a $13.3 million construction loan for the moderate rehabilitation of the interior and exterior of the properties.  Enterprise Community Investment Partners syndicated the tax credits providing the necessary equity.  The New York City Acquisition Loan Fund stepped in to provide a Bridge Loan to purchase the building and provide the necessary funds for maintenance and operating expenses until the PLP Loan closed.  In September, the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School announced the New York City Acquisition Fund as a 2008 Innovations in American Government Awards winner.  This $230 million partnership finances the purchase of land and buildings for affordable housing by using cutting edge private finance tools to allow small developers to compete in a tough real estate market.

“The renovations to Phoenix Estates will be a welcome addition to this thriving community,” said Michael Lappin, President and CEO of The Community Preservation Corporation.  “We are delighted to work once again with the New York ACORN Housing Company and Nos Quesdamos to help provide quality, affordable housing options for the South Bronx’s working families.”

“Phoenix Estates will live up to its name,” said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan.  “These renovations will transform this once troubled property into a remarkable asset in this already thriving community.  Our announcement today is the fruit of an incredible collaboration among government agencies, non-profit partners and community residents.  The planned rebirth of Phoenix Estates demonstrates the power of the New York City Acquisition Fund, an innovative tool that provides local and not-for-profit developers with financing to acquire private property for construction and preservation of affordable housing.  With such tools in hand, we stand ready to work with our City, State and Federal partners to generate affordable housing opportunities for New York City residents.”

“The rehabilitation of Phoenix Estates is the latest example of Enterprise’s commitment to help ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of income, have a decent and affordable place to call home that provides them with the stability they need to achieve their goals,” said Abby Jo Sigal, Vice President of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. and Director of Enterprise’s New York office.  “Enterprise is especially proud of this project not only because it will house 125 hardworking Bronx families but also because it brings us so very close to fulfilling our five-year Billion Dollar Promise to create and preserve 15,000 affordable homes for low-income New Yorkers as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan.”

Each apartment will be renovated with new kitchens, new apartment entry and interior apartment doors, painting, repair of existing floors, new plumbing fixtures in the bathrooms, new window sills and upgrades to the electrical systems.  The exterior brick masonry walls will be cleaned, the courtyard rear and side yard wall will be repaired and finished with a coating, building entrance systems will be replaced, exterior lighting and a security system will be installed and the roof will be replaced.  All work will be done without displacing residents.

Phoenix Estates contains an aggregate of 125 affordable housing units: 19 one-bedrooms, 64 two-bedrooms, 32 three-bedrooms and 10 four-bedrooms.  Rents will range from $725 for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,330 for a four-bedroom. 

"The United We Stand Tenants Association is very thankful to Commissioner Donovan, CPC, ACORN, Nos Quedamos, Enterprise, and all partners.  We want to also thank Congressman José Serrano for his devoted attention in making this happen.  At today's groundbreaking, we are looking forward to keeping open lines of communication for the betterment of our homes," said Millie Colon, President of United We Stand Tenants Association.

The Community Preservation Corporation is a not-for-profit mortgage lender that finances residential multifamily development throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Since its founding in 1974, CPC has invested over $7 billion in more than 130,000 units of housing.

New York ACORN Housing Company (NYAHC) is a not-for-profit community organization that works to increasing affordable housing opportunities for low and moderate income families by identifying and undertaking creative housing development initiatives.  New York ACORN Housing Company works with buildings’ residents during development and continues this relationship with its residents once buildings are completed and operational in order to improve their communities.  New York ACORN Housing Company also helps low and moderate income people who have the means (savings, credit and interest) to purchase their own homes.

We Stay/Nos Quedamos is a non-profit community development corporation comprising residents and members of the local business community from the South Bronx.  The organization is committed to preserving their voice and vision for their community and its future.  Nos Quedamos will promote, support and advance ideas of healthy, sustainable growth, both for local communities and the larger society.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD) 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. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation. HPD also encourages the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards.

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