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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christina Sanchez (HDC), 212-227-2644
Eric Bederman (HPD), 212-863-5176


The Bronx, New York – The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Blue Sea Development were honored on Tuesday, November 30 with an Appreciation Breakfast at P.S. 35 in the South Bronx. The agencies had joined forces to replace computers and other equipment stolen from the school in late August, just before school was scheduled to open. In total, the thieves took 36 laptops, 10 Mac desktops and 10 digital cameras.

The drive by HDC to donate computers was the brainchild of P.S. 35 alumna Mary Hom, Deputy Director of Credit Risk and Executive Vice President of REMIC at HDC. After seeing the story on the news, Ms. Hom said:  “I was moved to do something. I felt bad that these students in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city had been victimized -- I felt like these students were being robbed of their education, their future.” 

Ms. Hom mobilized HDC and partnered with HPD to arrange the donation of ten desktop computers, with monitors, keyboards, mice, and cables.  At HDC Senior Vice President for Administration and Chief Information Officer Rino Mariconda, Assistant Vice President for Office Services Robert Schmidt, System Administrator Michael Lam, and Office Assistant Omega Ortiz, along with HPD’s Technology Services Division Director of Client Services Bill Collazo, were instrumental in getting the computers ready for donation and delivered to the school. HDC donated the desktop units and HPD donated the monitors.

Joining Ms. Hom, Mr. Collazo and HDC President Marc Jahr at the breakfast was Les Bluestone from Blue Sea Development, who over the last decade has partnered with HDC and HPD on 73 buildings of affordable housing, providing sustainable healthy homes for about 400 families in the South Bronx, was also in attendance. Like Ms. Hom, Mr. Bluestone learned of the theft from news stories. 

Mr. Bluestone said: “One of the most important things we learn in affordable housing development is that the families we have come to know want exactly the same things the rest of us want in our lives, with the number one item being to provide the best we can for our children. It hurt me to think that, in order to get an education that will mean everything to their future, these children at PS 35 would have to overcome an obstacle that mean-spirited people put in their way.  I was honored to be part of the appreciation breakfast, to get a tour of the school, and to meet the children and their wonderful teachers and administrators. I know that our little bit of assistance ended up in exactly the right place.” Mr. Bluestone and his business partner Avery Seavey made a donation of $12,500 to help replace the computers. 

PS 35 Principal Graciela Navarro said: “I was devastated by the theft because we had transformed a chalkboard school into a technology-based school. This year in particular, budget cuts made it very difficult to purchase more hardware. I was amazed by the kindness of many people who wanted to help. The donations to our school show our students that the Bronx matters; but more important that students in the Bronx have the same opportunities as students anywhere else in the world.”

 “The school is actually in better shape with their technology needs than before the theft – a blessing in disguise. It’s great to see that some good has come from such a bad experience, and that there are people in the world – “guardian angels” – willing to help make things right. I felt like we made a difference in the students’ lives,” said Ms. Hom.  “I’m proud to be part of HDC -- an organization that cares and gives back to the communities in New York City.”

The Horace Mann School also contributed 24 laptop computers to replace the stolen equipment. 


About the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC): The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) provides a variety of financing programs for the creation and preservation of multi-family affordable housing throughout New York City. In partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, HDC works to implement Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the creation or preservation of 165,000 affordable housing units by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. Since the plan launched in 2004, HDC financed nearly 47,521 homes for low- , moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers. The New York City Housing Development Corporation is rated AA by S&P and Aa2 by Moody’s.

About the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD): HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers through education, outreach, loan and development programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. It is responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the construction or preservation of 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014. Since the plan’s inception, a total of more than 108,000 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit

About Blue Sea Development: Committed to the mission of green and sustainable communities and homes, and in partnership with HPD and HDC, Blue Sea Development Company has recently developed 73 buildings of affordable housing over the past 10 years in the South Bronx, providing sustainable healthy homes for about 400 families.  These developments include the first affordable Energy Star (2002), LEED Silver (2007), and LEED Platinum (2009 & 2010) affordable housing developments in New York State. Other current green developments include a new affordable cooperative building that pays homage to the jazz heritage of Morrisania and a new-low income rental with a rooftop urban farm that will grow fresh healthy produce for distribution to its Bronx neighborhood.  Future HPD and HDC partner projects include 290 units of new affordable housing along with a school in the Melrose community.


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