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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Press Release # 07-09
Thursday, June 4, 2009

Seth McM. Donlin, HPD (212) 863-5176,


Partners with Borough Presidents and Local Community-Based Organizations to Provide Important Information to Current and Prospective Homeowners

Focus on Homeownership and Foreclosure Prevention is Part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

NEW YORK – June is Homeowner Empowerment Month in New York City.  To this end, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is collaborating with Borough Presidents and community partners to host a series of Housing Fairs in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens.   The theme of this year’s fairs is “The Fundamentals of Buying and Owning a Home.”  Each event is planned to educate the public about HPD’s HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program, the home buying process and housing counseling available for first-time homebuyers.  For current homeowners, information on low-interest loan programs and foreclosure prevention services provided by the Center for New York City Neighborhoods’ (CNYCN) network partners will be available. 

“This year we’re doing homeownership month differently because we want for anyone in need of help to learn about the services available to them,” said HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero.  “Anyone who may be behind on their mortgage should pick up the phone and call 311 and make an appointment to come to one of these Fairs or ask to speak to the Center for New York City Neighborhoods.  The City also offers a lot of great programs to help New Yorkers buy their first home or make the necessary repairs on a home they already own.  HPD is looking forward to sponsoring this series of housing fairs to further provide information on the opportunities and responsibilities of homeownership.” 

Each event will have tables with resources on housing lotteries, housing educational materials and fair housing policies.  Banks will be present to discuss their mortgage offerings and local non-profits will be in attendance to inform current homeowners in danger of losing their homes about free counseling and legal services that are available throughout the city. In addition, workshops designed to empower prospective home buyers and current homeowners will be facilitated by HPD employees. Intended to provide attendees with the tools and resources to buy, improve and remain in their homes, these workshops are being offered to all attendees free of charge.

“The best mechanism for achieving successful homeownership is homeowner education and that is why we are partnering with HPD to sponsor events such as this”, said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., who remains committed to viable homeownership in the borough. “Preserving and developing affordable housing, whether homeownership or rental, will represent one of my administration’s strategic priorities. I look forward to working with HPD to help Bronx residents not only achieve the American Dream, but to make sure that their homes remain a matter of family pride for decades to come.”

“For most people, buying a home is the largest single investment they will make in their lifetime”, said Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro. “This forum will give prospective homebuyers important information to ensure that they take this important step with as little risk as possible.”

“There is nothing more central to the American dream than the chance to own your own home, and I commend HPD for helping to make that dream a reality for so many Brooklynites,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markotwitz.  “Those who want to own should be given all the tools and financial education they need. And those who are currently afraid of losing their homes need to know all the avenues of assistance. We need to do all we can to make sure that Brooklyn remains proud ‘home to everyone from everywhere’—as well as a place where as many as possible can own their own homes.”

“This event is free and open to the public and I urge anyone who is even thinking about buying a home to attend,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.  “The dream of home ownership has been threatened by a national recession and local threats of foreclosure, but knowing what to do and how and when to do it can eliminate many problems and help to safeguard your home.  I am delighted to lend my support to this home ownership assistance program and thank HPD and the Greater Allen AME Cathedral for hosting the Homeowner Empowerment Month fair in Queens.”

“Allen Cathedral is grateful for the opportunity to join with HPD and the Borough President of Queens in helping to create opportunities for homeownership, the primary vehicle for building equity and laying the foundation for wealth development,” said Rev. Dr. Floyd H. Flake, Pastor of Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York.

"We are pleased to partner with HPD and the Borough Presidents to support and protect homeowners during Homeowner Empowerment Month and beyond," said CNYCN Executive Director Mike Hickey. "New Yorkers facing foreclosure should not hesitate to reach out for help. At the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, we connect residents facing foreclosure with a network of highly-qualified, local housing counselors and legal services providers who will stand by their sides to achieve the best possible outcome. Our services are free, safe and reliable. The important thing is to act early and call 311. The sooner a homeowner takes action, the more options they have."

HPD is offering these housing fairs as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan aimed at bringing New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible.  It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough.  A major focus of this plan is preventing mortgage foreclosure and preserving the stability and vitality of the city’s neighborhoods.

Homeowner Empowerment Month Housing Fairs:


Date: Monday, June 8
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Bronx Community Board 12 at 4101 White Plains Road, Corner of 229th Street, Bronx, NY 10466
Directions: 2 train to 225th. or 233rd Street; or take Bx41 bus to White Plains Road and East 228th Street
Staten Island

Date: Wednesday, June 17
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Brighton Heights Reformed Church at 320 Saint Marks Place, St. George, NY, 10301
Directions: Staten Island Ferry to St. George Ferry Terminal, walk up hill to St. Marks Place;
or take S42 bus to Central Avenue and Hyatt Street, and walk to St. Marks Place and Fort Place


Date: Saturday, June 20
Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Location: Allen Christian School at 171-10 Linden Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11434
Directions: E, J, Z trains to Jamaica Center and transfer to Q4, Q5, Q84, Q85 buses to Merrick Boulevard and Linden Boulevard


Date: Thursday, June 25
Time:  6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Brooklyn Borough Hall at 209 Joralemon Street, The Courtroom, 2nd Fl. Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Directions: Directions: 2, 3, 4, 5 trains to Borough Hall Station; or A, C, F trains to Jay Street/Borough Hall Station

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The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

HPD’s mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. It is the nation's largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing, HPD also actively promotes the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. For more information visit

New York City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

The Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth.

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