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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Eric Bederman 212 863 5176
Christina Sanchez 212 227 2644

HPD, HDC, The Ursuline Bedford Park Community, Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation, Enterprise, and Chase Open New 243-Unit, Green Affordable Housing Development for Low-and Moderate-Income Seniors

HPD Announces Adoption of Enterprise Green Communities Criteria as Part of Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan in Support of PlaNYC

 Bronx, NY, May 3, 2011 – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) joined the Ursuline Bedford Park Community, Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation, Enterprise Community Partners and Chase to celebrate the opening of Serviam Gardens, a new 243-unit green, affordable housing development for low- and moderate-income seniors. The 158-unit Serviam Gardens II, the second phase on this site, was developed by Fordham Bedford using Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, a comprehensive set of guidelines to encourage green building practices by developers of affordable housing. Since January 2011, HPD has required the developers of new affordable housing construction and substantial renovation projects funded by the City to attain Enterprise Green Communities Certification by adhering to these criteria. The Enterprise Green Communities Criteria is the only national green building criteria designed for affordable housing. 

Serviam Gardens II was developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), an $8.4 billion initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by 2014. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of 112,178 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs; 3,333 of those units in Bronx Community Board 7 where Serviam Gardens is located. It is the first city subsidized affordable housing development to be completed using the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria since HPD announced in January that it was requiring all new construction and substantial rehabilitation projects to adhere to the standards of the program. Enterprise Green Communities Criteria was created to yield lowered utility costs, a healthier living environment and increased sustainability while benefiting the financial stability of both tenants and affordable housing owners.  

“Our data shows rising utility costs have increased significantly over the past several years and are a heavy contributor to the cost of living burden many New Yorkers are struggling to keep pace with,” said HPD Deputy Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas. “For these reasons we have partnered with Enterprise and now require every new and preserved unit that we assist to adhere to their Green Communities Criteria. Fordham Bedford’s dedication to meeting these criteria has helped to create a green property from construction through completion; incorporating amenities that will allow it to remain vital and efficient for the foreseeable future. I thank HDC, Fordham Bedford, Enterprise, the Ursulines and all of our partners who have helped put the city on a path to achieving a level of green building that reduces waste, keeps costs down and makes these properties more affordable for the people calling them home.” 

We at HDC are very proud of the role in taking this new development from the drawing board to reality," said HDC President Marc Jahr. "Alongside our partners, we have provided the wherewithal to create these safe, secure and state-of-the-art green homes for senior citizens, who despite their limited resources deserve all the best that we can offer. Serviam Gardens fills that bill.” 

The most recent Housing and Vacancy Survey showed that between 2005 and 2008, citywide contract rent only increased 1.6% in real dollars while median gross rents increased by 4.2% over the same period. This difference can be attributed to rising utility costs, which demonstrates a clear need for more efficient energy use and standards to help reduce the cost burden to renters and homeowners. The maintenance and operating saving derived from energy efficient measures will not only reduce the City’s resource consumption and promote a cleaner environment, but will ensure the physical and financial sustainability of individual properties, which will be passed on in the form of lower costs to tenants. By achieving Enterprise Green Communities Certification, City-financed affordable housing will be built to minimize construction waste and maximize water conservation, energy efficiency, and the use of non-toxic building materials. The City will certify approximately 40 affordable housing projects annually as Enterprise Green Communities and provide financing for more than 30,000 units with energy efficiency and sustainability requirements by 2014. 

HPD’s green requirements directly support PlaNYC, the City’s sustainability plan through 2030, which was launched four years ago and updated last week,  is an unprecedented effort undertaken by the Mayor to prepare the city for one million more residents, strengthen our economy, combat climate change, and enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers. The Plan aims to achieve eleven long-term goals to create a greener, greater New York; including creating housing for nearly a million more New Yorkers while making housing and neighborhoods more affordable and sustainable and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30% by 2030.  

“Serviam Gardens shows how it is possible to make our housing both more affordable and more sustainable,” said Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability Director David Bragdon. “By using the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, HPD will continue to increase our city’s supply of affordable housing, enable residents to reduce their energy and water usage, support more sustainable communities, and help achieve PlaNYC’s goals to create a greener, greater New York.” 

Serviam Gardens Opening

Developed by the Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation on underutilized land leased from the Ursuline Bedford Park Convent in the Northwest Bronx, the $68 million project serves 296 seniors and features an 8,000-square-foot green roof garden terrace and a 23,000-square-foot ground-level landscaping including an urban farm for residents’ use.  The project was designed by Jack Coogan of OCV Architects.  The garden was designed by top landscape design firm Robin Key Landscape Architecture through collaboration with desigNYC and Enterprise, working together to preserve the campus’ green space while encouraging interaction between the residents and students at the Academy of Mt. St. Ursula, a thriving girl’s high school founded more than 150 years ago on the same site. 

“HUD has no higher mission than providing our elderly population with decent, safe, and affordable housing, said Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrión. “As such, I am delighted and applaud the Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation for opening its first, HUD Section 202 development in a beautiful tree-lined campus that will offer 82 residents a serene and supportive environment.”   

 “Serviam Gardens exemplifies Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation’s dedication to providing local residents with affordable homes, especially for area seniors looking to age gracefully on a fixed income,” said John Reilly, Executive Director of Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation. “We are grateful to the Ursulines for working closely with us to build this beautiful complex on their campus, and to Enterprise, HUD, HPD, HDC, and Chase for their valuable contributions that made Serviam Gardens a reality.” 

The land for Serviam Gardens was acquired using resources secured through the New York City Acquisition Fund. The New York City Acquisition Fund offers acquisition and predevelopment loans to developers committed to the creation and preservation of affordable housing in New York’s five boroughs. The Fund was made possible in 2006 through an unprecedented partnership with the City of New York, Enterprise, major foundations and New York’s public and private investment groups. 

“Thank you Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation for your tremendous work and support of the Northwest Bronx residents and community including the achievement we are celebrating today: Serviam Gardens, a wonderful place for 296 elderly residents to call home, have access to the services they need, and age in place close to their family and friends,” said Abby Jo Sigal, Vice President and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. "We are proud to have partnered closely with Fordham Bedford throughout the development process - from $3.6 million in acquisition and predevelopment support to over $25 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity, from $75,000 in grant funding to a technical expertise of a full-time Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow and a collaborative partnership with desigNYC. It's a great day for New York, and for the lucky seniors who get to live here.” 

“The Ursulines are pleased to be part of this wonderful accomplishment that provides affordable housing for the seniors of the Bronx, enhances the neighborhood, and adds to the beauty of the campus,” remarked Sr. Mary Sullivan, Provincial of the Ursulines. 

The first phase of Serviam Gardens, Serviam I, was completed in October 2009 and consists of 83 units of housing. It was developed with HUD, HPD and Enterprise, and included support from the Office of the Bronx Borough President. In October 2007, Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation received a reservation of federal funds to construct new housing for the elderly in the Bronx along with a three-year guarantee of rental support. Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation then successfully applied for Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the City’s Tax Credit program to match the HUD 202 proceeds. Enterprise served as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) syndicator. Serviam I caters to low-income seniors earning no more than 50 percent of the HUD Income Limits ($26,850 for a single person).  The total development cost for Serviam I is $20.9 million. 

Serviam II provides affordable housing for seniors earning 28 to 80 percent of the area median income ($15,960 - $42,560), as well as 2 units reserved for superintendents. HDC issued tax-exempt bonds worth $23.7 for the construction financing of Serviam II and provided $8.8 million in subsidy from the Corporation’s reserves. Chase provided the Letter of Credit to secure HDC’s during the construction period. HPD provided $14.4 million in MIRP funds, along with Project Based Section 8 vouchers to offset the rental cost of 126 of the units.  Enterprise is expected to syndicate the project’s 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits to generate approximately $14.27 million in equity for the project.  Finally, the Bronx Borough President’s Office provided the project with $2 million of City Capital Reso A funds. The total development cost for Serviam II is $47.3 million. 

“As the largest bank in the Bronx, we are committed to investing in projects that have a positive and sustainable impact on communities where we operate,” said Elliot Hobbs, senior banker of Chase Community Development Banking.  “Serviam Gardens will bring much-needed affordable housing for seniors and also provide green living space that will help reduce energy consumption and improve the quality of life for Bronx residents.” 

Like all of Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation’s new developments, Serviam Gardens includes green elements that will reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions: a green roof to limit storm water impact—with a rainwater harvesting system—that will double as a recreation area; bamboo flooring; energy efficient elevators, lighting and appliances; low VOC paint, and low-E argon filled windows to improve building insulation. Serviam Gardens was built according to Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and is an Enterprise Green Communities-certified project. 

Enterprise Community Partners and University Neighborhood Housing Program provided assistance with the development of a financial package for Serviam Gardens. Rosehill Management also provided support to the project, along with Brian Sullivan, a HUD consultant, and John Van Bomel, who provided counsel. Serviam Gardens benefited from the support of former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Congressman José Serrano, Majority Leader Joel Rivera and Assemblyman José Rivera. 


About Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation

The mission of the Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation, established by tenants and community leaders in 1980, is to improve the Bronx neighborhood by providing community-run housing that is safe, sound and affordable. When Fordham Bedford was founded, the apartment buildings in our community were deteriorating rapidly and facing the abandonment so prevalent in other parts of the Bronx and New York City.  FBHC established ownership and community management by purchasing its first building for $100. The related threat of abandonment and the problem of affordability mandated that the Housing Corporation focus almost exclusively on housing for many years.  The stabilization of local housing stock – an effort in which we played a significant role – has allowed us to focus considerable attention to the quality of the local environment around our affordable housing. Today the Housing Corporation oversees the management of 95 buildings with 2700 apartments, with most of our work being in occupied buildings. Fordham Bedford, a leader in green building in New York City, is also committed to creating healthy and environmentally-friendly projects for residents and the community. For more information, please visit 

About US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and

 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 2003, HDC financed more than 48,000 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, more than 112,000 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit  

About Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan

New York City’s affordable housing program to build or preserve 165,000 units of housing — enough to house half a million New Yorkers — is the most ambitious and productive in the nation—creating housing as well as jobs for New Yorkers. In April, 2010 the City reached the critical benchmark of 100,000 units financed—representing an investment of $4.5 billion to date by the City, not including roughly $5 billion in bonds issued by HDC.

The Plan has been recast to maintain production momentum while confronting head-on the economic challenges facing the City, the State, the housing industry, the financial sector and individual New Yorkers and their families. In order to fulfill the NHMP goal of 165,000 units, HPD and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) are responding to market realities and focusing on three primary goals: strengthening neighborhoods, expanding the supply of affordable and sustainable housing and stabilizing families by keeping them in their homes. To read more about the NHMP, please visit

 About the Ursuline Sisters

The Ursuline Sisters came to the then rural village of Melrose, adjacent to East Morrisania in 1854 to serve as teachers for the children of immigrant, mostly German-speaking families. The 1860 U. S. Census lists sixteen nuns; a decade later, the number had grown to fifty. As the area around East Morrisania continued to industrialize, the nuns relocated to the developing Bronx area called Bedford Park. The building was started in 1891, and a four-storey academy and convent formally opened in May 31, 1892. It became known as “the Academy of Mount St. Ursula” and continues today. Visit and to learn more about the Ursuline Sisters.

About Enterprise

Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For more than 25 years, Enterprise has introduced neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested more than $10 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve more than 250,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Enterprise is currently investing in communities at a rate of $1 billion a year. Visit and to learn more about Enterprise's efforts to build communities and opportunity.

 Since opening our New York office in 1987, Enterprise has created or preserved more than 32,000 affordable homes for 105,000 New Yorkers, and has committed nearly $2.2 billion in equity, grants, and loans to community development projects across the city.

About Chase

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.2 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves consumers and small businesses through 5,200 bank branches, 16,200 ATMs, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships and schools and universities. Chase also has issued more than 90 million credit cards. More information about Chase is available at 

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