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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eric Bederman (HPD) 212-863-5176


Deal to Finance Rehabilitation of 1,110 Unit Lower East Side Mitchell-Lama Co-op Will Keep Property Affordable to Tenants for 30 More Years 

New York, NY – NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver,NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua, and other elected officials joined residents today to announcethe beginning of renovationsto Masaryk Towers, a six building Mitchell-Lama cooperative development located at 77 Columbia Street onManhattan’s Lower East Side. The funding provided by the City to Masarykwill enable the much needed renovations to take place in exchange for keeping its 1,110 co-opunits affordable to the existing tenants and extending the property’s obligation to stay in the Mitchell-Lama program for 30 more years.Also in attendance were State Senator Daniel SquadronandCity Council Member Rosie Mendez.

“This vital investment in Masaryk Towers will improve the quality of life for our working families, seniors and everyone who lives in this complex,” Speaker Silver said. “I am proud to have given my strong support for these much-needed upgrades and I will continue working to improve conditions for Masaryk residents. It is essential that we do everything possible to preserve and protect affordable housing in our community.” 

"Our affordable housing is what makes New York the vibrant and diverse city it is today. By investing in these critical renovations to Masaryk, we are investing in the lives of its residents and the future of our city," said Senator Daniel Squadron. "Thank you to Speaker Silver, HPD, and all of my colleagues in government for their work to protect and support affordability here at Masaryk and throughout our community." 

“Preservation of existing affordable housing has always been a central focus of the Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace Plan,” said Commissioner Wambua. “This commitment to Masaryk Towers is a prime example of how we work with our partners to ensure that low-income New Yorkers can remain safe and securely in their homes, while we act affirmatively to keep those homes affordable over the long term. This LMDC grant, combined with resources from Battery Park City, is making the upgrade and modernization of Masaryk Towers a reality. We wouldn’t be at this juncture without the tireless advocacy of Speaker Silver and the other dedicated elected officials who represent these tenants. I salute them for their support.” 

Masaryk Towers is being preserved 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 more than 130,770 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs.  More than 44,254 units have been financed in Manhattan and more than 7,917 of these units are in Manhattan Community Board 3 where the Masaryk Towers complex is located. 

"On behalf of Masaryk Towers’ shareholders, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and all the elected officials who made this capital project possible through the grants made available for our cooperative"said DariuszLiszkiewicz, President of the Masaryk Towers Board of Directors. 

Masaryk Towers is a 21-story, six building Mitchell-Lama cooperative development. The complex was constructed in 1966 and was named after former Czech diplomat Jan Masaryk.Masaryk was the son of Czechoslovakia’s first President, Tomas Masaryk. Jan Masaryk was the ambassador to Britain in 1925 and was later a Foreign Minister when communist forces occupied his home country. Masaryk became a beloved radio host when he continued to broadcast a national radio program over the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to Czechoslovakia during World War II. He died under mysterious circumstances in 1948. 

Planned renovations to Masaryk Towers include façade repair, sidewalk repair, parking lot repaving, landscaping upgrades, fence upgrades and repair and an upgrade to the onsite children’s play area.Current residentshave incomes averaging approximately between 50% AMI ($29,050 for an individual) and 80% AMI ($46,500 for an individual). All units have AMI levels set at 100% AMI for incoming residents ($58,100 for an individual) based on 2012 AMI numbers published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Cooperative shareholders earning more than these limits are subject to an additional surcharge. 

"These improvements to Masaryk Towers will further our goal of investing in critical infrastructure and affordable housing," said Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) Chairman Avi Schick. "I commend Speaker Silver for his strong advocacy for this worthy project and for the thousands of residents at Masaryk who will benefit from it." 

The total cost of rehabilitation will be approximately $8 million via a loan from HPD’s Article 8A Program to facilitate funds from the Battery Park City Authority (BPC) and The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC). Both BPC and LMDC are committed to the rebuilding of lower Manhattan in the wake of the September 11thterrorist attacks in 2001. Contracting services will be provided by Central Construction.


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 About 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 the close of the 2014 fiscal year.  Since the plan’s inception, more than 130,770 affordable homes have been financed.  For more information, visit   

About The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC):

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation was created in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 by then-Governor Pataki and then-Mayor Giuliani to help plan and coordinate the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan, defined as everything south of Houston Street. The LMDC is a joint State-City corporation governed by a 16-member Board of Directors, half appointed by the Governor of New York and half by the Mayor of New York. LMDC is charged with ensuring Lower Manhattan recovers from the attacks and emerges even better than it was before. The centerpiece of LMDC’s efforts is the creation of a permanent memorial honoring those lost, while affirming the democratic values that came under attack on September 11.

LMDC works in cooperation with its partners in the public and private sectors to coordinate long-term planning for the World Trade Center site and surrounding communities, while pursuing short-term initiatives to improve the quality of life in Lower Manhattan during the revitalization effort. LMDC is committed to an open, inclusive, and transparent planning process in which the public has a central role in shaping the future of Lower

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