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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 8, 2013

Juliet Morris (HPD) 212.863.5682


HPD joins Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement and Partners to Celebrate the Opening of 208, 236, and 252 West 149th Street Buildings in Harlem

Rehabilitation of Three Formerly City-owned Buildings Renews 78 Affordable Housing Units
for Existing and New Tenants, and 49 Low-Income Families Return to Renovated Homes in Harlem
 

New York, NY – Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. (HCCI), NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD), and partners met today for the ceremonial opening of the 208, 236, and 252 West 149th Street buildings, a cluster of affordable rental buildings in Harlem. The ribbon cutting marks the end of an extensive rehabilitation of these three buildings which now provide 78 high-quality apartments for current and future families of Harlem. Also in attendance were U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel, NYS Assemblymen Herman ‘Denny’ Farrell, Jr. and Keith L.T. Wright, NYS Senator Bill Perkins, NYC Councilwoman Inez E. Dickens and Community Board Chair Henrietta Lyle. 

This rehabilitation was funded 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 NHMP has funded the creation or preservation of more than 144,700 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs. More than 48,549 units have been created or preserved in Manhattan with more than 12,499 of those units in CB 10. For every dollar invested by the City, the Plan has leveraged $3.43 in additional funding, equaling a total commitment of more than $21 billion. 

“Maintaining our City’s aging housing stock is critical to the stability of our neighborhoods and to the wellbeing of the tenants who call them home,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “The rehabilitation and preservation of these three properties will reverse their physical and financial decline, ensuring they will remain in good repair and affordable for hardworking New York families now and for years to come.  I thank HCCI and our funding partners LISC and the New York Equity Fund for sharing our mission of creating a more affordable and sustainable City for all New Yorkers. “ 

“This project took a lot of hard work and dedication,” said Malcolm Punter, Director of Real Estate at HCCI. “Through it all, we were able to deliver on our promises and stay true to our mission of ensuring that the families of Harlem have access to high-quality affordable homes. It’s wonderful to celebrate the buildings’ opening and see all of the efforts of our partners come to fruition.”   

“We have never failed our mission,” said Dr. Charles Cutis, Chairman of HCCI.  “I am extremely proud of our dedicated staff and the indomitable spirit of our Board of Directors and partners to ensure that there is a little bit of heaven in Harlem.   

Derek Broome's stated that "It is our mission to continuously develop this community, building by building and block by block, to make affordable housing a reality for all of Harlem." 

The rehabilitation of the 208, 236, and 252 West 149th Street buildings is the culmination of an effective partnership between HPD and HCCI that began in 2006 when HCCI took over the properties from the City as part of HPD's Neighborhood Redevelopment Program (NRP), a program that conveys clusters of occupied and vacant City-owned buildings to selected community-based not-for-profit organizations. Following the acquisition of the buildings, HCCI worked to relocate the existing tenants in order t to address the pressing structural issues and other rehabilitation needs . The substantial rehabilitation of the buildings included significant improvements to each unit, including new kitchens and bathrooms, and new and efficient windows as well as major systems replacement such as heating, electric, and plumbing systems. 

Sixty-two units are reserved for families with incomes no higher than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) or $51,540 for a family of four. The remaining 16 units are reserved for moderate income families earning no more than 165 percent AMI or $141,735 for a family of four. There are currently no vacant units in this development. Forty-nine former residents returned to their renovated homes and vacant units were filled by eligible families through a housing lottery. The City of New York requires that subsidized apartments be rented through an Open Lottery System to ensure fair and equitable distribution of housing to eligible applicants. Marketing of the apartments and the application process for the lottery typically begin when construction is approximately 70 percent complete. For more information regarding the lottery process, current housing lotteries, how to apply to an open lottery, and if you would like to receive an e-mail when HPD updates its available apartment and home website listings for City-subsidized housing in the five boroughs, please visit the Apartment Seekers and Homebuyers pages at www.nyc.gov

The total development cost for the rehabilitation of 208, 236, and 252 West 149th Street is approximately $17.4 million. HPD contributed $8.6 million in HOME funding and $2.7 million in City Capital. HPD also provide a 9% tax credit award of $621,000. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) provided $6 million in Low-Income Tax Credit Equity. The National York Equity Fund acted as Tax Credit Syndicator. 

PM Architecture was the project architect and Aleem Constuction was the contractor. 

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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 144,781 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd. 

About Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI)

Founded in 1986 and comprised of more than 90 inter-faith congregations, HCCI leverages the support is receives from federal, state, and city agencies to pursue its mission. HCCI programming focuses on housing, personal finance, health care, and education to empower the residents of Harlem to transform their lives and community. To date, HCCI’s real estate office has developed more than 2,500 units of low, moderate and middle-income housing and nearly 40 commercial spaces including a 45,000 sq. ft. Pathmark supermarket. http://www.hcci.org/ 




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