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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eric Bederman (Housing) (212) 863-5176



MAYOR BLOOMBERG, DEPUTY MAYOR STEEL, HOUSING COMMISSIONER WAMBUA AND HDC PRESIDENT JAHR ANNOUNCE NEW YORK CITY HAS REACHED MAJOR MILESTONE IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN

 

More than 15,800 Units Financed in FY 2011 Brings Housing Plan Tally to 124,510 Affordable Homes – More than Three-Quarters of the Way Toward Goal

 

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Marc Jahr announced today the City has reached a major milestone in its affordable housing plan, the New Housing Marketplace Plan.  New York City is now three-quarters of the way towards completing Mayor Bloomberg’s goal of creating and preserving 165,000 units of affordable housing by the end of 2014. The City invested $1.3 billion and financed 15,827 units of affordable housing for middle-class and low-income New Yorkers in Fiscal Year 2011, which ended June 30th. The City surpassed its goal for the year by more than 1,100 units. Deputy Mayor Steel, Commissioner Wambua and President Jahr announced milestone at East 178th Street and Bryant Avenue in the Bronx, the site of the West Farms Square complex of eight physically and financially distressed buildings, on which the City closed a financing agreement in FY 2011, ensuring they get critical repairs and upgrades while remaining affordable for current and future tenants. They were joined by West Farms Square Housing Development Fund Corporation Board Member John Garcia, Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation President Monsignor John Jenik and University Neighborhood Housing Program Executive Director Jim Buckley.

“With better than expected results this past year, we’re now more than three-quarters of the way towards our goal to create and preserve 165,000 affordable housing units for 500,000 New Yorkers by the end of 2014,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “That’s more people than live in Miami. Through our New Housing Marketplace Plan, not only have we provided low- and medium-income families with affordable homes, we’ve also created 120,000 jobs.”

“Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan is the most ambitious affordable housing program in the country, and the results so far have been remarkable,” Deputy Mayor Steel said. “By funding the creation or preservation of nearly 125,000 affordable housing units since 2004, the affordable housing plan has helped maintain the City’s housing stock, revitalize and stabilize neighborhoods, and created thousands of jobs. This is a smart investment for the City.”

“Middle class families are what make New York City the greatest city in the world,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The work done this past year by HPD and HDC to create thousands of units of affordable housing will help many of those families stay here in the five boroughs. I'm proud that the Council has been able to partner with the Bloomberg Administration on many initiatives to help keep our city diverse, growing, and affordable for all New Yorkers.”

 “I applaud Mayor Bloomberg and the hard-working teams at HPD and HDC on the unprecedented success of the New Housing Marketplace Plan,” said Assemblyman Vito Lopez, Chairman of the Assembly Housing Committee and affordable housing advocate. “With the ambitious creation of almost 16,000 new units of affordable housing just this year, the investment in our City will ensure not only that New Yorkers in need will have an affordable place to live and an enhanced quality of life, but this investment will encourage and trigger even further economic development and new jobs.  Revitalizing communities in New York City through the creation of affordable housing shows not only a commitment to augmenting our City's affordable housing stock, but a true commitment to the people of the City of New York.”

The FY 2011 units were financed under the Bloomberg Administration’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, an $8.5 billion initiative to create 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of the 2014 fiscal year. Through the New Housing Marketplace Plan, the City and its partners have now funded the creation or preservation of 124,495 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs. The New Housing Marketplace Plan also serves as an economic catalyst, injecting capital into distressed neighborhoods and creating jobs that advance the City’s recovery efforts. Over its full course, it is estimated that the plan would create approximately 150,000 full-time equivalent jobs in construction and related industries. To date the plan has created more than 120,000 full-time equivalent jobs. 

“It is exciting and humbling to know that we are at the forefront in the nation in producing and protecting affordable housing for our citizens,” said Housing Commissioner Wambua. “Every collaboration, every partnership and every deal helps to ensure that we are doing everything we can to make New York City more affordable. Not only do these numbers provide the proof of our accomplishment, we have surpassed our goals. We all look forward to another successful year thanks to the magnificent and talented people at HPD and HDC whose commitment to hard work and high standards have consistently delivered these great outcomes.” 

“No other municipality is delivering affordable housing for its people on anywhere near the scale of New York City,” said HDC President Jahr. “We are able to do this because we have the will and the skill and are able to provide the wherewithal to achieve results. With new construction, we are bringing new life to neighborhoods – if anyone doubts this, I recommend taking a walk through Melrose, in the South Bronx. Every preservation deal brings new life to aging buildings and a guarantee of continued affordability for the tenants – a stroll along 135th Street in Harlem bears testament to this. Whole sections of this City are reborn and invigorated, thanks to the vision of the Mayor and the New Housing Marketplace Plan.” 

“During this economic recession we must provide housing in our neighborhoods that will meet the financial means of those New Yorkers most in need,” said Council Member Joel Rivera. “Situated near mass transit and major highways, this development adds to the area’s ongoing transformation which has attracted new residents and new opportunities thus strengthening the community and our great city.” 

The 3,873 units of new construction projects that closed in FY 2011 include approximately 1,200 units of mixed income housing, nearly 1,500 units of low-income housing, and 940 new units of supportive housing in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. Since the inception of the New Housing Marketplace Plan the City has financed the construction of 41,556 new affordable units. 

Over the course of the last fiscal year, HPD and HDC provided $1.249 billion in funding to affordable housing in the five boroughs. Sources include $357 million in City capital, Reso A and HOME funds as well as $726.3 million raised by bonds issued by HDC and $165.6 million in additional subsidy from HDC’s own reserves. 

Units Financed By Borough - FY 2011/Total New Housing Marketplace Plan:

  • Manhattan: 6,044 units/42,452 units
  • Bronx: 4,058 units/37,520 units
  • Brooklyn: 2,730 units/29,683 units
  • Queens: 2,368 units /11,571 units
  • Staten Island: 444 units /1,816 units
  • Downpayment assistance: 183 units/1,468 units

The rehabilitation of the West Farms Square project represents a major milestone for the troubled complex comprising 526 low- and moderate-income households that were commonly known within Bronx Community Board 6 as West Farms and Second Farms. In 2009, HDC purchased a portfolio of federal Department of Housing and Urban Development-held loans on 10 distressed multifamily properties in New York, including the original mortgages for West Farms and Second Farms. As the new mortgagee, Housing Preservation and Development and HDC collaborated to facilitate the refinancing and rehabilitation of the properties, while preserving long-term affordability. Additionally, West Farms Square benefited from a Repair Revolving Fund loan created by HDC and funded by the proceeds of debt service payments and prepayments on the loan portfolio. This gave the project a critical head start on installation of badly needed new elevators in advance of the financing that closed last month.  This final financing package included a $28.6 million loan from HDC, a $5.6 million loan from the City and $23.5 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity and preserves affordability for forty more years. The owner of the project is West Farms Square Housing Development Fund Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation affiliated with the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. The joint sponsors and developers of the project are Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation and University Neighborhood Housing Program.  

 In addition to the new elevators, the rehabilitation work at West Farms includes the repair and installation of new windows, boilers, hot water heaters, compactors, flooring and facades. The apartments will upgraded, where necessary, with new kitchens, bathroom fixtures, flooring, doors, air conditioner sleeves, repainting and window repairs. Common areas will be repainted; and new lighting and mailboxes installed along with a rehabilitation of grounds and playground. Security features now include a security fence with key card entry to property.  

“Since 1976, I have watched West Farms survive ‘The Bronx Is Burning,’ the empty buildings and blocks surrounding it, the explosion of new housing on those empty blocks, and the current decline in our economy,” said Monsignor John Jenik, President of West Farms Square HDFC. “Thank you to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Housing Development Corporation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, JPMorgan Chase and the Enterprise Partners for providing the funds to provide our 524 families with newly renovated apartments for another 40 years.” 

“These apartments provide critical housing for working families in the Bronx. Fordham Bedford is pleased to be part of the partnership formed to keep them safe, healthy and affordable for many years to come,” said John Reilly, Executive Director of the Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation. 

“UNHP is proud to be a part of the team that has put together this renovation of West Farms. This partnership of the for-profit and non-profit sectors, the government and the community is a model that can be used over and over again to preserve and maintain affordable housing,” said James Buckley, Executive Director of University Neighborhood Housing Program, Inc. 

“I congratulate Mayor Bloomberg and City officials for their continued success in creating and preserving affordable housing in one of the most expensive housing markets in the world,” said HUD Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrión. “In the wake of a severe downturn in the economy and its impact on City revenue, let alone the real estate market, this mayor has continued to invest in affordable housing at a record pace. I am proud of HUD’s partnership with the City to preserve affordable housing, like West Farms Square, and its impact in improving people’s lives and strengthening neighborhoods.”    

“Enterprise is grateful for our strong partnerships with Fordham Bedford, UNHP, and our terrific city agencies who partnered with us to preserve the West Farms Apartments, and who tirelessly work with us to create and preserve sustainable, affordable homes for all New Yorkers” said Abby Jo Sigal, Vice President and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan has ensured that thousands of New Yorkers have a safe, affordable place to call home, and Enterprise is proud to have contributed nearly $1.3 billion in investment and almost 20,000 homes to that goal. Congratulations to the City in reaching this significant milestone!” 

Of the total FY 2011 units, 11,771 units are preserved as affordable homes for their existing tenants. The spotlight on preservation projects such as West Farms represents the City’s refocused commitment after the decline in the housing market to preserving affordability and improving the condition of the existing housing stock throughout the five boroughs while still producing high quality new construction units. The City developed new financing programs to assist troubled existing buildings suffering from physical and financial distress. Preserving these affordable units is critical as they are often in older buildings in need of extensive rehabilitation and occupied by existing tenants who could not afford to live there should the properties convert to market rate. Recipients of City financing are subject to regulatory agreements keeping properties affordable under city guidelines for significant periods of time. Since the inception of the New Housing Marketplace Plan the City has preserved 81,484 affordable units.   

Other FY 2011 New Housing Marketplace Plan Highlights Include:

Preservation
Mitchell-Lama Preservation
Kent Village is a 534-unit Mitchell-Lama rental development with six multi-family buildings serving low- and moderate-income tenants in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With $45 million in financing from HDC, the deal restructures the existing debt and provides additional funds for substantial rehabilitation. In exchange for the low cost financing from the City, Kent Village will extend its commitment to the Mitchell-Lama program for an additional 35 years. The work will include the rehabilitation of building facades, kitchens, bathrooms replacement of windows, boilers, HVAC exhaust fans, water heaters, electrical panels, public lighting and elevators. 

New Construction:
Supportive Housing
Lindenguild Hall will be a 105-unit low-income residence primarily serving formerly homeless veterans and will be located in the Bronx neighborhood of Crotona Park. Built in partnership with The Lantern Group, this $34.3 million project financed by HDC and HPD will feature onsite services such as case management, health counseling, PTSD support, job readiness and employment services. This project has been accepted into NYSERDA's Green Affordable Housing Program, which is available for new construction affordable housing projects that pursue LEED Silver certification or higher and has received an award letter for $229,000 for the use of energy efficient technology. 

Senior Citizen Housing
Riverway Apartments will be a seven-story 114- unit rental building serving low-income senior citizens located in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood. Planned as a joint venture between HDC, HPD, developer SKA Marin and the Calvary Church of God, Inc., this new development will be especially designed to accommodate the handicapped in all common areas, with the community facility space to be used as a senior community center that will provide support services to residents and other seniors in the community. HDC provided $20.2M in tax-exempt bonds for construction financing along with $20.2 million from corporate reserves for the permanent financing. Additional funding was provided by HPD Third Mortgage in an amount of $6.9 million, a $1.5 million DASNY grant, and $13.3 million Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Equity.




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