The 150 Units of Affordable Housing in Tanya Towers Serves Seniors and Residents with Auditory, Visual and Other Disabilities
New York, NY - Today, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Councilwoman Rosie Mendez joined FEGS Health & Human Services and partners to celebrate the completion of renovations at Tanya Towers, located at 620 East 13th Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Tanya Towers is home to 150 low-income seniors and residents who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind and have other disabilities. The renovation included critical external and internal structural repairs and improvements, such as elevator modernization and boiler replacement, as well as upgrades to its gardens and community spaces to enhance and sustain a positive living environment.
Tanya Towers was renovated under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), a multi-billion 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 156,397 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs, with 50,960 units in Manhattan, and more than 8,187 of those units in Manhattan Community Board 3 where Tanya Towers is located.
“Tanya Towers represents the importance of creating and preserving housing that is affordable and supportive to our most vulnerable populations. The financing provided by all of our project partners and the leadership of F.E.GS. ensures that these populations will benefit from stable affordable housing that offers social services. I want to thank my team at HPD, our partners at HDC, HUD, City Council Member Mendez and all project partners for preserving this much needed affordable housing,” said HPD Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas.
“Preserving existing housing stock is such an important component to the Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace Plan,“ said Marc Jahr, President of HDC. “Tanya Towers has been a safe, stable, and supportive home for people in need of special services and dedicated resources. This joint effort between the public and private sector has made the financing possible in order to make repairs to improve the tenants living conditions. We at HDC are proud to be a partner with FEGS, HPD, Councilmember Mendez, and Borough President Stringer in preserving Tanya Towers for generations to come.”
Mirza Orriols, Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said, “I am delighted to be a partner in ensuring that this community has decent and safe housing. I applaud FEGS, the Manhattan Borough President, the City Council, HPD, and HDC for their commitment to and long-term investment in the preservation of quality affordable housing.”
FEGS CEO Gail Magaliff said, “Now in its 40th year, Tanya Towers holds a special place in the history of services to the deaf and hard of hearing, and is home to a diverse population of residents with special needs. The success of this project is an excellent example of how government agencies and a nonprofit organization can partner together to serve the community. This renovation will help ensure that we meet the needs of its residents for years to come.”
Tanya Towers, which was first occupied in 1973, is a New York City supervised Mitchell-Lama development. Tanya Towers opened its doors under a partnership with the New York Society for the Deaf (NYSD). In 2006, NYSD merged into FEGS, which assumed responsibility for all its programs, including Tanya Towers. All of FEGS’ staff at the residence are fluent in American Sign Language and most are deaf or hard of hearing.
Recently completed rehabilitation includes elevator modernization, boiler replacement, and emergency generator installation. Individual apartments received kitchen, bathroom and flooring replacements and upgrades. The buildings received façade and sidewalk repair and outdoor landscaping. The community rooms and lobby were also upgraded.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who attended today’s ceremony, said, “In the citywide fight to preserve affordable housing for working New Yorkers, we must dedicate ourselves particularly to those living with disabilities. Tanya Towers represents the best of New York City; a place where our most vulnerable population can live with access to support services and community. I am proud to have played a role in the funding of this project.”
City Council Member Rosie Mendez was also in attendance. “We all have a responsibility to create and preserve affordable housing in New York City, particularly housing that serves those with special needs. I am thrilled to see this project come to completion, ensuring that the disabled, mentally ill, hard of hearing, and deaf communities have an enhanced quality of life and living environment.”
Tom Blumberg, President of the Tanya Towers, Inc. Board of Directors, Executive Committee Member of FEGS’ Board, and a Trustee of UJA-Federation of New York said, “I am so proud to be here today to celebrate this achievement and milestone in the history of Tanya Towers. FEGS was able to continue, expand, and now revitalize this unique and wonderful home, in the best tradition of FEGS and UJA-Federation.”
The total development cost for this renovation is approximately $11 million. The renovation was made possible through a $1 million capital grant from the New York City Council, sponsored by Council Member Rosie Mendez, and a $500,000 grant from the Office of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. An additional $2.9 million was made available through financing arranged by HDC. The project also received a $6.4 million mortgage from HDC. Additional funding came from replacement reserves. HPD continues to support Tanya Towers by providing a real property tax exemption and through HPD’s Article 8A Loan Program to pay for the rehabilitation being celebrated today.
Created in 1955, the Mitchell-Lama program provides affordable rental and cooperative housing to moderate and middle-income families. HPD supervises waiting lists, management issues, and has other oversight responsibilities for 83 Mitchell-Lama developments including Tanya Towers.
About the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC):
Since 2000, HDC has issued roughly 10% of all the multi-family 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 providing 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 on the list. In 2013, HDC was the third largest affordable housing lender in the U.S. after Citi and Wells Fargo, beating out Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Capital One. To date, under the Mayor’s plan, HDC has financed the creation or preservation of more than 73,765 of the total 156,397 affordable units. Multifamily buildings financed by HDC contain more than 1.7 million square feet of commercial space. For additional information, visit: www.nychdc.com
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 the end of fiscal year 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 156,397 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For regular updates on news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/nychpd and www.twitter.com/nychousing. For more information, visit our website at www.nyc.gov/hpd.
About the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and www.espanol.hud.gov.
About Federal Employment Guidance Services (FEGS):
FEGS, one of the nation’s largest and most diversified nonprofit health and human services organizations, helps individuals achieve greater personal and economic independence. FEGS’ network of programs in health/disabilities, housing, homecare, employment/workforce development, education, youth and family services, help more than 10,000 each day, over 100,000 people each year, inspiring individuals and families and strengthening communities.