New York, New York – NYC Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing (WSFSSH) announced the financing of Borinquen Court, a housing complex for low-income senior citizens and disabled tenants in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx.
“Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan is revitalizing neighborhoods and creating jobs in all five boroughs, and Borinquen Court is poised to be the latest example of the Mayor’s affordable housing vision,” Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel said. “This rehabilitation project will ensure that Borinquen Court will continue to be an anchor in the Mott Haven community for decades to come.”
The City is undertaking the renovation and preservation of Borinquen Court through Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP). The NHMP is a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of Fiscal Year 2014. For every dollar invested by the City, the NHMP has leveraged $3.41 in private funding, amounting to a total commitment to date of more than $19.4 billion to fund the creation or preservation of over 130,700 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs. More than 40,374 units have been financed in The Bronx.
“This housing has served many New Yorkers since it was first developed nearly forty years ago,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “Our goal is to ensure that it, like many other aging properties that were developed with public assistance, stays in good condition and remains affordable for our citizens who have special needs and limited resources. The preservation of affordable housing stock is central to maintain our neighborhoods and the quality of life of thousands of New Yorkers. That is why we put a premium on efforts such as this—sustaining our City depends on it.”
“We’re thrilled to participate in the acquisition and rehabilitation financing of Borinquen Court. When it was first built it offered hope to its residents and the surrounding community,” said HDC President Marc Jahr. “Unfortunately, as the years passed, it became troubled and its future became uncertain. Now, once again, under the ownership and management of WSFSSH, much to the relief of its residents, it has a promising future, a future that we are pleased that we will be a part of.”
Borinquen Court is a seven-story, 145-unit development. The project’s residential units consist of 122 one-bedrooms, 22 two-bedrooms and one two-bedroom superintendent's unit. Apartments are available to tenants earning no more than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), currently $46,080 for a family of four. The ground floor contains a large community space, lobby and front desk, a commercial kitchen, dining room, management offices and building maintenance and storage space. The top floor includes a solarium community space. Residents have access to substantial outdoor space and on-site parking.
The property is part of the South Bronx Neighborhood Development Area, an urban renewal area formed by the City of New York in the 1970s. Borinquen Court was built under the HUD Section 202 program. The project is classified as "Mixed"—90 percent of the units are for elderly households and 10 percent are for households with a handicapped member. There is no age minimum for handicapped tenants. Originally sponsored and managed by the South Bronx Community Housing Corporation, WSFSSH became the owner of Borinquen Court on February 28, 2011. The Tenants Association unanimously voted to select WSFSSH as their development partner and manager of choice on January 13, 2009. WSFSSH purchased the building through a HUD foreclosure action on March 1, 2011.
"We are proud to be the stewards of Borinquen Court and to prepare the building for future generations of tenants. Our gratitude extends to the current tenants for their trust and cooperation as well as to our financing partners and development team,” said Laura R. Jervis, Executive Director of WSFSSH. “We are especially grateful to the Honorable Ruben Diaz, Jr., our Bronx Borough President, and to his staff for their ongoing support. With over 25 buildings, WSFSSH provides many different types of housing and services to over 1,800 people."
Since purchasing the building in 2011, WSFSSH has restored all occupied units to HUD's approved health and safety levels. The rehabilitation work will total approximately $11.08 million and will include the repair and/or new installation of windows and AC sleeves, roofs, boiler, flooring, façade repointing, and elevator upgrades. Individual units will be upgraded with new kitchens and new bathrooms where necessary. The work will also consist of upgrades to building common areas and structural elements. Extensive structural work must be completed in four off-line units located on the south wing of the first floor. The work will also include excavation, back-filling and the complete rebuilding of the unit interiors. Renovations are expected to be completed in the Fall of 2013.
Borinquen Court's financing includes $13.5 million in HDC tax-exempt bond construction financing. HPD provided $3.9 million subordinate financing and $7.4 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity. The state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program is providing $1.3 million in Brownfields Tax Credit Program (BCP) equity. The National Equity Fund will provide the LIHTC and BCP equity. JPMorgan Chase is providing construction period credit enhancement.
Traditionally the months of May and June are the busiest for the affordable housing industry – bankers, developers and staff work to ensure that financing transactions for the construction or preservation of affordable housing projects are complete before the City’s fiscal year comes to a close at 12:00 midnight, June 30th. In the current fiscal year (FY 2012), staff has closed financing on 6,938 units to date; on the way to reaching the FY 2012 goal of 14,500 units.
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 130,700 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd.
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. Since the plan’s inception, HPD and HDC have financed the creation or preservation of more than 130,700 affordable homes. To read more about the NHMP, please visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/about/plan.html
About the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC): HDC provides financing that builds and strengthens neighborhoods. Since 2000, the corporation has issued roughly 10% of all the multifamily housing revenue bonds in the U.S. and since 2003, when Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan was launched, HDC has raised more than $6.7 billion in financing for affordable housing developments, including in excess of $1 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves. In Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s annual listing of the nation’s top ten funders of multifamily housing, HDC is the only municipal entity included on the list, and consistently bests many of the largest commercial banks and most statewide Housing Finance Agencies (HFA). This past year, HDC was the fourth largest affordable housing lender in the U.S. after Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, beating out JPMorgan Chase and Capital One. To date, under the Mayor’s plan, HDC has financed the creation or preservation of more than 60,000 affordable units in multifamily buildings that also include 1.7 million square feet of commercial space. For additional information, visit: www.nychdc.com
About the West Side Federation For Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc. (WSFSSH): West Side Federation For Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc. (WSFSSH) was formed in 1976 by a coalition of social service agencies, religious institutions, and community organizations. Together we worked to create a new form of housing – one that would meet the diverse needs of older people and persons living with special needs. Our first building, the Marseilles, opened in 1980 and provided 134 independent apartments to low income elderly and handicapped individuals. http://www.wsfssh.org/