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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 2, 2012

Eric Bederman (HPD) 212-863-5176


HPD JOINSACACIA NETWORK AND PARTNERS TO CELEBRATE THE GROUNDBREAKING FOR A NEWSUPPORTIVE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN THE BRONX

Mosholu Gardens will provide64 units of affordable housing with on-site supportive services in the Norwood neighborhood of the Bronx

BRONX, NEW YORK - New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua joined Acacia Network, Inc. to celebrate the start ofconstruction on Mosholu Gardens, aneight-story supportive housing development with 64 low-income units located at 245 East Mosholu Parkway Northin the Norwood neighborhood of the Bronx. Plans for the new development feature a number of garden environments and on-site staff toprovide support servicesfor residents, many of whom will be formerly homeless. This building will bedeveloped through a partnership between Acacia Network, HPD,NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH),The National Equity Fund (NEF), The Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY), The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and Enterprise Community Partners among other partners.

Mosholu Gardensis being developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), a multibillion dollar 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 over 129,200 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs; 39,394 of those units in the Bronx with 3,495 units located in Community District 7 where Mosholu Gardens is being constructed.

“This groundbreaking ceremony is a celebration of the strong partnership among developers, advocates, financers, and the City,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua.“It is because of that partnership that we can look forward to the dynamic building that will stand on this site. With its green design featuring multiple gardens, this building will bring new life to this community – and the opportunity for vulnerable, low-income individuals to have a safe and stable home and on-site social services to serve as an anchor and touch point in their lives.”

“Mosholu Gardens demonstrates the Acacia Network’s vision of providing low-income individuals, as well as those with special needs, with the resources necessary to achieve their greatest level of self-sufficiency. It also demonstrates our commitment to building quality housing that meets the highest green design standards, said Acacia Network CEO Raul Russi. “Mosholu Gardens will not only help transform the lives of a vulnerable population, it will enhance the environment and the fabric of the surrounding community. Through Mosholu Gardens, the surrounding community will have access to the multitude of health and social services that the Acacia Network has to offer.”

Upon completion, Mosholu Gardens will be aneight-story building with 63 studiorental units and one additional unit reserved for an on-site superintendent. Thirty-nine of the total units will have a preference for a special needs population and formerly homeless residents.The units will be available to tenants earning no more than 60 percentArea Median Income (AMI) or $34,860 for an individual. Residents of Mosholu Gardenswill have access to a variety of on-site services and amenities that will include laundry facilities,a 24-hour concierge, resident attendant services, and a computer facility. On-site services such as case management will be made possible with funding provided by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). Additionally, all building residents will have access to Acacia’s extensive network of healthcare, housing, educational and social services.

“A healthy, safe and sound environment can greatly contribute to a person’s health,” said DOHMH Commissioner Thomas Farley. “The development of these new housing units is an important step in providing a path to recovery for New Yorkers with mental illness.”

The design of the Mosholu Gardens residence complies with the Enterprise Green Communities criteria - anationally recognized, cost-effective framework for constructing affordable housing that delivers significant health, economic and environmental benefits to low-income families.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.Mosholu Gardens will be constructed with environmentally friendly features, including multiple garden environments.  The rooftop will feature a community space, which opens onto a wrap-around terrace and garden, providing accessible bright vistas for all residents. The development follows HPD’s energy-efficiency guidelines for new developments and is in accordance with the Acacia Network’s commitment to developing environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient housing.

“From increased energy efficiency and sustainability of a building to lower utility bills and healthier homes for the residents, the benefits of building green are tremendous,” said Abby Jo Sigal, Vice President and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “The Enterprise Green Communities criteria show that green and affordable can be one and the same, and we’re proud that Mosholu Gardens will be built according to these standards.”

The total development cost of the project is approximately $15 million. HPD provided approximately $7.8 million through the federal HOME Loan program and contributed $125,000 in City Capital funds. The National Equity Fund (NEF) acts as tax credit syndicator and will provide $6.9 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Equity.Through its association with the New York City Acquisition Fund, CSH provided $1,382,000 in acquisition and predevelopment financing to help Acacia secure the land, and fund vital architectural and predevelopment expenses.

“Mosholu Gardens is an outstanding project on so many levels. It not only provides essential affordable and supportive housing to special needs populations but its environmentally responsible initiatives are significant,” commented Joseph S. Hagan, President and CEO of National Equity Fund, Inc., a leading national syndicator of low-income housing tax credits, which along with its investment partner, Morgan Stanley, provided approximately $7million of LIHTC equity.”

“CSH is committed to expanding quality supportive housing opportunities, and partnerships with leading housing and service providers such as Acacia Network make that possible,“ said Diane Louard-Michel, CSH Director in New York. “CSH congratulates the leadership and staff of Acacia Network on their successful efforts to add quality affordable and supportive housing to residents of New York City.”

“Mosholu Gardens is a perfect example of what happens when an excellent nonprofit supportive housing developer works closely with community leaders, government partners and great designers to create a building that will provide a new lease on life for tenants,a beautiful addition to the neighborhood and a boon to the environment. The Network is delighted to have played even a small role in this extraordinary collaboration,”said Ted Houghton, Executive Director of Supportive Housing Network of New York.

Oaklander, Coogan&Vitto Architects (OCV) provided the architectural design for the development and construction will be done by The J. Pilla Group. Construction work on Mosholu Gardens is expected to be completed during the summer of 2013. Prospective tenants may visit the ‘Apartment Seekers’ section of HPD’s website to find out how to apply for apartments. Website visitors may also sign up to receive emails on availability in HPD funded developments.

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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 129,200 affordable homes have been financed. www.nyc.gov/hpd

About Acacia Network, Inc.

Acacia Network is the largest Latino based nonprofit in the Northeast offering health and social services as well as housing and implementing economic development initiatives. Acacia Network is comprised of several community organizations with strong roots in the Bronx and East Harlem Communities.

Acacia Network’s mission is to partner with communities, lead change, promote healthy and prosperous individuals and families. This mission supports Acacia Network’s deep commitment to the communities in which it serves.

Acacia Network partners with government at all levels, other nonprofits, community based organizations, and with private companies to organize and implement treatment and social service programs, develop and manage housing and create innovative community-based enterprises. Acacia Network’s financial strength, professional expertise, history of positive outcomes and proven credibility result in an exceptional ability to design outstanding, inter-related programs. 

About the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH):

With an annual budget of $1.6 billion and more than 6,000 employees throughout the five boroughs, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is one of the largest public health agencies in the world, serving 8 million New Yorkers from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. With over 200 years of leadership in the field, we're also one of our nation's oldest public health agencies. The challenges we face range from obesity, diabetes and heart disease to HIV/AIDS, tobacco addiction and substance abuse, and the threat of bioterrorism. We're tackling these issues with innovative policies and programs – and getting exceptional results – but our work is never finished. 

About National Equity Fund (NEF)

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) created NEF, Inc. in 1987 to deliver the resources, through low income housing tax credits, to support the work of developers providing low income housing in underserved communities.  

NEF has raised $9.5 billion for investment, supported development affordable housing.  Over the last two and a half decades, NEF, Inc., balancing the needs of developers, communities and investors, has partnered with more than 210 banks, insurance companies and other corporations committed to making affordable housing development possible. 

NEF has had more tax-credit experience than almost any other syndicator in the marketplace, and has funded 2,100 projects in 46 states + Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, raised $9.5 billion for investment, supported development of 127,000 homes.http://nefinc.org/section/aboutus

About Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)

For over 20 years, CSH has led the national supportive housing movement. We help communities throughout the country transform how they address homelessness and improve people’s lives. CSH develops innovative program models, provides research-backed tools and training, offers development expertise, and collaborates on public policy and systems reform. And, CSH is a certified community development financial institution (CDFI). We make it easier to create and operate high-quality affordable housing linked to services. To date, CSH has made over $300 million in loans and grants, and has been a catalyst for over 150,000 units of supportive housing. For more information, visit csh.org.

About Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise)

For 30 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 $11 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve more than 280,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Visit www.enterprisecommunity.org and www.enterprisecommunity.com to learn more about Enterprise's efforts to build communities and opportunity.

Since opening their New York office in 1987, Enterprise has created or preserved more than 35,000 affordable homes for 116,000 New Yorkers, and has committed over $2.3 billion in equity, grants, and loans to community development projects across the city.

About The Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY)

The Supportive Housing Network of New York represents more than 200 nonprofit organizations and nearly 100 corporate and affiliate members that together fund, develop and operate more than 43,000 units of supportive housing statewide – by far the largest, most innovative and best managed stock of supportive housing in the country. Through advocacy, research, policy analysis, training, technical assistance and public education, the Network seeks to help our nonprofit, corporate and government partners create enough supportive housing to meet the needs of New York’s most vulnerable.

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