City Will Transform Unsold
Condominiums, Unrented Apartments and Stalled Construction Sites into Affordable
Housing for Working Families
Creating Affordable Housing for New
Yorkers in Neighborhoods throughout the City is Part of Five Borough Economic
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council
Speaker Christine C. Quinn today announced a $20 million pilot program to turn
unsold condominiums, unrented apartments and stalled construction sites into
affordable housing opportunities for moderate- and middle-income families.
Through the Housing Asset Renewal Program (HARP), the City will negotiate with
developers and banks and provide financing to turn unsold or stalled units
intended to be sold or rented at market rate into affordable housing. As many as
400 units could be converted as part of the pilot program, which was first
proposed by Speaker Quinn in her State of the City speech. The program is part
of the City’s New Housing Marketplace
Plan to create affordable housing for 500,000 New Yorkers and the
City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity
Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for
long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive
“Private developments that sit vacant
or unfinished could have a destabilizing effect on our neighborhoods, but we’re
not about to let that happen,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This program holds out the
promise of addressing the unintended blight caused by vacant sites, while
transforming what would have been market-rate buildings into affordable housing
for working class New Yorkers.”
“The economic crisis has forced everyone to
look for new and innovative solutions to age old problems,” said Speaker
Quinn. “The credit crunch has left buildings across our city empty, just
waiting for someone to call them home. And now, because of the Housing
Asset Renewal Program, these units represent our best chance to confront the
housing crisis head on.”
The Housing Asset Renewal Program will
focus on two types of problematic developments: completed projects with a high
number of vacancies and stalled sites that are still under construction.
HPD will issue a Notice of Funding
Availability for the new program in late July. Projects will be selected through
a competitive process based on three goals:
- Neighborhood Stabilization – Priority will be
given to buildings in neighborhoods that will have the greatest impact on
keeping communities stable;
- Efficient Use of Public Funding – Preference
will be given to projects that need the lowest amount of public assistance to
achieve maximum affordability;
Discounts to New Yorkers – Projects will be selected based on which
developers and banks offer the deepest discounts below market rates on
“This program gives us an opportunity to
stabilize neighborhoods that have been most affected by the economic downturn
while giving us fresh opportunities to create affordable housing,” said NYC
Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero. “We at
HPD appreciate the leadership shown
by Speaker Quinn, Housing Chair Dilan and Land Use Chair Katz and look forward
to strengthening this productive relationship for the benefit of our
“This pilot program is prudently structured
to efficiently capture affordability in housing assets that would otherwise
languish in the marketplace,” said New York City Housing Development Corporation
President Marc Jahr. “In designing the program, we carefully considered the
implications of stepping in to developments that the market had effectively
stepped away from. We concluded that in this tough real estate market there are
great, cost-efficient opportunities to create affordable housing for New York's residents,
while stabilizing neighborhoods.”
as though the housing crisis won’t subside any time soon
due to the economic downturn,” said City Council Housing and Buildings
Committee Chair Erik Martin Dilan. “If anything, we need to come up with
the right plan right now. HARP is a great step forward in turning the
current recession into an affordable housing opportunity for working
“At this time in history it is incumbent
upon the government to look at all options to create affordable housing in our
City,” said City Council Land Use Committee Chair Melinda Katz. “The
Housing Asset Renewal Program will be another tool at our disposal to continue
our efforts to add affordable units citywide. Everyone would agree that a
completed affordable project is a better investment for our city than a skyline
of half finished projects.”
The Bloomberg Administration’s 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. To
learn more about the plan, visit nyc.gov. Recently, the
City has announced:
Eight initiatives to strengthen the media industry in New York
The opening of New Mount Hope Community Center in the Bronx.
The purchase of the Hunter’s Point South site to create a new,
New initiatives to help support Hispanic-owned small
A public campaign to help more New Yorkers get free
foreclosure prevention services.
The start of services of the Park Slope 5th Avenue
Business Improvement District.
A stimulus-funded bond program to spur commercial and
industrial projects citywide.
The opening of China Construction Bank’s New York City office.
The opening of the first section of the High Line.
The opening of West Harlem Piers Park.
The City will use nearly $32 million to train 10,000 New
Yorkers for jobs.
New space for 20 small businesses in Bushwick, creating more
than 80 industrial jobs.
The citywide “Fashion’s Night Out” event to support retailers
in all five boroughs.
The start to construction of the International Gem Tower,
which will house 3,000 jobs.
Start of review process for Kingsbridge Armory project
creating 1,200 permanent jobs.
City’s Workforce1 Centers in Harlem and Jamaica received
awards for innovation.
Food Retail Expansion to Support Health (FRESH) program to
encourage grocery stores.
City-supported loans unavailable from banks to help small
businesses stay in operation.
Three new Financial Empowerment Centers offering free,
one-on-one financial coaching.
Stimulus funding to help the City provide summer jobs for
51,000 young New Yorkers.
The opening of New Hope Walton Project, housing for low-income
residents in Harlem
New affordable housing at Gateway Building, a long-vacant
structure in the South Bronx.
The Harlem Business Assistance Fund to help businesses
relocate to the 125th Street area.
The expansion of NYC Business Express to help businesses
obtain permits and licenses.
New international cruise activity, growing New York City’s
13,000-job cruise industry.
Steps to help New York City’s bioscience companies compete for
The “Nine in ’09” campaign to promote economic
activity in diverse neighborhoods.
A Center for Economic Opportunity program put 4,000 low-income
New Yorkers in jobs.
Stimulus-funded community development projects that will
Stimulus-funded Housing Authority projects that will create
jobs for 3,255 New Yorkers.
The start of construction of 103 units of affordable housing
A plan to protect area character and expand commercial
opportunities in Sunset Park.
The opening of Home Depot in the South Bronx creating 200 new
Legislation that will green buildings and create 19,000
The latest round of training funds to help small businesses
train their employees.
The final tally of 1,673 additional jobs created at the new
The placement of 50 laid-off New Yorkers into positions at
New York City achieved a record 5,000 job placements through
the first quarter of 2009.
Help for a beer distributor to create 55 permanent and 30
construction jobs in the Bronx.
Green projects at the Brooklyn Navy Yard are creating more
than 1,700 permanent jobs.
A Federal grant to create green jobs as part of the City’s
Comprehensive initiatives to support the nonprofit sector and
its 490,000 jobs.
Federal stimulus transportation projects that will create or
preserve 32,000 jobs.
New automated water meter readers that could help businesses
retain or create 550 jobs.
New programs to provide training and resources for City’s
Steps the City is taking to help small businesses adapt to
conditions and avoid layoffs.
More than 50,000 New Yorkers claimed the City’s Child Care Tax
Credit in its first year.
11 new initiatives to support the financial services sector
and promote entrepreneurship.
A plan for Coney Island that will create 6,000 permanent and
25,000 construction jobs.
A plan to create and retain 400,000 jobs over the next