True Colors Residence is the City’s first permanent supportive housing dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young adults with a history of homelessness.
Central Harlem, New York, September 9, 2011 –NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew Wambua and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer joined Grammy Award-winning recording artist Cyndi Lauper and West End Intergenerational Residence HDFC, Inc at the ribbon cutting for True Colors Residence. Located in Central Harlem at 269 W 154th Street, it is the first permanent housing development in New York City with a preference for 18-24 year old lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young adults with a history of homelessness. Also in attendance were New York State Assemblyman Herman ‘Denny’ Farrell, New York City Council Member Inez Dickens, President of Richman Housing Resources William Traylor and Bill Yates, Director of Citi Community Development.
True Colors Residence was developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), an $8.5 billion initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of the 2014 fiscal year. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of more than 124,400 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs; 10,300 of those units in Manhattan Community District 10 where the Randolph Houses are located.
“This is the first development of its kind in New York City. True Colors Residence is the epitome of what we mean when we say “fair housing.” It is a testament of the City’s commitment to providing affordable housing for New Yorkers with special, specific needs,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “This development not only puts a roof over their heads, but also provides a system of support that will help these vulnerable young men and women and others who may need assistance, take steps toward creating a foundation upon which they can build the rest of their lives. Starting with the City’s Acquisition Fund, I thank our partners at Citi, M&T and the Federal Home Loan Bank, West End, Borough President Stringer’s office, NYSERDA, Richman, and Cyndi Lauper for your commitment, concern and compelling drive to make this important project a reality. Our community is all the stronger for it.”
“I am proud today to celebrate the historic opening of True Colors Residence – the state’s first permanent, supportive housing facility for formerly homeless LGBT youth. At a time when we as a society should be doing so much more to support these young people, the opening of this remarkable facility is proof that we can help meet the need by working together,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “Thanks are due to Cyndi Lauper and her manager Lisa Barbaris, who supported the establishment of this residence, and I am proud that my office provided funding to West End to support this endeavor as well. But our work is not yet done: There are thousands of homeless LGBT youth in New York, and our shelters for this group have waitlists in the hundreds. Let the opening of True Colors Residence send a message: Here in New York we are united in our determination to address and solve this problem. “
The newly completed building is an energy-efficient 6-story multifamily building with 30 studio apartments plus one unit for an on-site super, and will be available to tenants earning not more than 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or what is equivalent to an annual income of $27,750 for a single person. True Colors Residence also includes indoor and outdoor community space for residents, a computer room, resource library, and support services for the young adults.
“It is thrilling to finally be able to open our doors and welcome our first residents,” said West End Executive Director Colleen Jackson. “We hope True Colors Residence will be a model to be replicated so that homeless LGBT youth will have more affordable and supportive permanent housing available to them. There is much to be done for this underserved population but thanks to the people who believed in our dream we are getting the ball rolling. To all those who have helped finance this incredible project, including our major funders and supporters, and of course our partners Lisa Barbaris and Cyndi Lauper, we extend our heartfelt gratitude.”
"The opening of the True Colors Residence marks a special moment in which so many people joined together to meet the growing need for housing for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth dealing with homelessness,” said Ms. Lauper. “I want to especially thank Colleen Jackson and the West End Intergenerational Residence for making this dream a reality. I look forward to witnessing the indelible impact that the Residence will make. By having a permanent roof over their heads and support available to them, I am confident that these young people will become the adults they hope and deserve to be."
True Colors Residence’s total development cost of $11 million was funded from a variety of sources. Citi Community Capital provided nearly $6 million in construction loan and permanent equity funds, including the purchase of $3.384 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs). HPD’s Supportive Housing Loan Program provided $3.78 million in construction and permanent lending through HOME funds. Contributions also include $2.79 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) funds, a $500,000 grant from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; $465,000 in construction and permanent lending from the Federal Home Loan Bank's Affordable Housing Program through member M&T Bank; and a $75,000 grant from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The LIHTC equity was syndicated by Richman Housing Resources. Acquisition and pre-development financing for True Colors Residence was provided by the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the New York City Acquisition Fund. This project is being developed under the New York/New York III agreement, furthering the joint commitment between the City and State to provide supportive housing for the City’s most vulnerable individuals.
“Citi is honored to have played a role in financing this groundbreaking initiative,” said Andy Ditton, Managing Director, Citi Community Capital. “This commitment is emblematic of Citi’s efforts to expand affordable housing in communities throughout the United States. It also demonstrates Citi’s continued focus on financing innovative community development projects that meet the needs of underserved populations. We join our financing partners today in congratulating West End, and wish all the best for the individuals who will now call True Colors Residence home.”
“True Colors is precisely the type of property where we like to invest”, said William Traylor, the President of Richman Housing Resources. “We get a decent economic return on our money, but, more importantly, society gets an exponential return on the human investment in the lives of the young men and women who will make True Colors Residence their home.”
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 or 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014. Since the plan’s inception, nearly 125,000 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd
About West End Intergenerational Residence HDFC, Inc.
In addition to management and services provided at True Colors Residence, West End Intergenerational Residence provides transitional housing and services to homeless young mothers and their children, and permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless and low-income older adults. The organization also provides property management and support services to supportive housing programs in Hamilton Heights and East Harlem.
Citi Community Capital
Citi Community Capital (CCC) is a premier financial partner with nationally recognized expertise in financing all types of affordable housing and community reinvestment projects. CCC's origination, structuring, asset and risk management staff across the country provides creative financing solutions designed to meet their clients' needs. CCC helps community development financial institutions, real estate developers, national intermediaries and nonprofit organizations achieve their goals through a broad, integrated platform of debt and equity offerings. Additional information may be found at www.citicommunitycapital.com
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://new.citi.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi