The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York City Housing and Development Corporation (HDC), and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) joined Met Council, The Arker Companies and other partners today as they celebrated the start of construction on Woodlands & Council Towers VII in the Bronx. The new development will create 180 units of affordable housing for low-income senior citizens, age 62 and older.
Woodlands & Council Towers VII is being developed under 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 $3.43 in private funding, amounting to a total commitment to date of more than $21 billion to fund the creation or preservation of over 147,890 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs to date. Over 45,180 units have been financed in the Bronx.
“HUD is proud to have joined forces with some of our long-standing and strongest partners in the construction of two important Bronx developments, Council Towers VII and the Woodlands, that will provide much needed affordable housing to our elderly population,” said Mirza Orriols, HUD Acting Regional Administrator. “The beauty and richness of these developments demonstrate the power, resources and benefits of public-private partnerships. Creating a multifamily housing complex from scratch in a down economy and tight credit market is a real accomplishment. So congratulations to the Met Council, HPD, HDC, NYCHA, Wells Fargo and the Arker Companies on a job well done.”
“The golden years are supposed to be spent enjoying the fruits of our labor, but too often our senior citizens find themselves struggling to make ends meet on a fixed income. Developments like Woodlands & Council Towers VII give New York’s seniors affordable housing options that relieve a significant financial burden while providing the supportive services that make life easier,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “We are proud to continue our partnership with the Met Council to bring yet another outstanding senior residence to our city, and we thank HDC, HUD, NYCHA, the Arker Companies, Wells Fargo, our local elected officials and all of our other partners for their commitment to helping our seniors age in place with dignity.”
“Financing housing that strengthens our communities and serves New York’s most vulnerable populations is the heart of our mission at HDC. The Woodlands & Council Towers VII development is a testament to the dedication we share in achieving our goals, and to what can be accomplished through smart, cohesive public/private partnerships,” said HDC President Marc Jahr. “I am proud that HDC could once again take a leadership role in funding what will be a haven of affordability for our senior citizens. While each project we finance is unique, the bond that ties them together is the dedication we all share in ensuring that our city remains livable, viable, and sustainable for those New Yorkers most in need of an affordable place to call home.”
“This is an excellent example of how NYCHA can work together with other government agencies and non-profit organizations to help create new affordable and supportive housing for New Yorkers and we are proud to be able to provide 100 project-based Section 8 vouchers as part of this effort,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “These vouchers for this new development will help provide housing reserved for seniors, and others in need of the on-site social service programs for residents.”
The Woodlands & Council Towers VII development is immediately adjacent to Met Council’s Weinberg Council Towers V and Weinberg Council Towers I. Woodlands & Council Towers VII is the latest addition to Met Council’s Tower developments which are spread throughout the boroughs of New York City. Each development provides a safe environment with on-site social service programs for residents.
Woodlands & Council Towers VII, in the Co-Op City area of the Bronx, will be a development of two 11-story adjoining buildings with a total of 180 units of housing reserved for low-income seniors. The Woodlands building will have 101 units, 90 one-bedrooms and 11 two-bedrooms inclusive of a superintendent’s unit. The Council Towers VII building will have 79 units, with 78 one-bedrooms and one unit for a superintendent. Building amenities will include shared community space, laundry facilities and on-site parking.
“We are extremely grateful to our partners at HUD, HPD, HDC, NYCHA, the Arker Companies and Wells Fargo for making it possible to provide more affordable homes and vital services for 180 New York seniors,” said William E. Rapfogel, CEO of Met Council. “This new development adds to a thriving community that Met Council has created to ensure that low-income seniors can afford to live in stable, safe homes with all of the services and facilities they need. More than ever, seniors are vulnerable to falling into poverty and unable to pull themselves up, and affordable housing is the most important element to remaining self-sufficient and living with dignity. We remain driven to continue to do more all across the City of New York.”
“The Arker Companies is thrilled to partner with Met Council to break ground on these two wonderful developments for seniors,” said Arker Companies Principal Daniel Moritz. “We applaud Mayor Bloomberg for his continuing commitment to affordable housing and thank our partners in Government, Finance, and our team of professionals for the hard work it took to bring the financing of these developments across the finish line.”
The Woodlands building will serve seniors at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) which is equivalent to an annual income of no more than $36,120 for an individual. The Council Towers VII building will serve seniors at or below 50% AMI which is equivalent to an annual income of no more than $30,100for an individual. As most applicants will typically have income less than 30% of AMI, both projects will receive rental assistance which limits the tenant’s rental contribution to approximately 30% of household income. Woodlands will receive Project-Based Section 8 from NYCHA to help subsidize the cost of rent. Council Towers VII will receive Project Rental Assistance under HUD’s Section 202 program.
“The construction of senior housing has been significantly constrained over the last few years because of budget cuts, and I applaud the efforts of the various agencies sponsoring The Woodlands and Council Towers VII for finding innovative ways to realize these projects through these difficult times. I am pleased to have also been part of the financial sponsorship of this project, having allocated $750,000 toward its construction. Senior housing is a priority of my administration and I am proud to be here in Co-op City supporting the largest naturally occurring retirement community in the country,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“I commend the developers of The Woodlands & Council Towers VII for building energy efficiency directly into the construction process of this affordable senior housing development with support from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Multifamily Performance Program,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO, NYSERDA. “The Woodlands is projected to save 23 percent in energy costs and Council Towers 21 percent, compared with more traditional building approaches. These projects represent responsible stewardship of the environment and commitment to reducing energy use, both important elements of Governor Cuomo’s vision for New York State.”
The total development cost for Woodlands is $38.2 million. In addition to construction bond financing, HDC provided a permanent first mortgage of $9.4 million and $5.5 million in subsidy. HPD provided $5.1 million in funding through federal HOME funding, and $16.5 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity provided by Wells Fargo. The development team provided $1.6 million in equity. The total development cost of Council Towers VII is $25.8 million. HUD provided a grant of $400,000 toward pre-construction expenses and an additional $12.8 million Section 202 loan to pay down HDC construction bonds. HPD provided $1.75 million in federal HOME funding and Wells Fargo provided $9.9 million in LIHTC equity. The Office of the Bronx Borough President provided $750,000 in Reso A funding. The combined Woodlands & Council Towers VII project received a total of $288,600 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
About the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD works to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive an sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
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 144,700 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 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 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 2012, 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 67,000 affordable units in multi-family buildings that also include 1.7 million square feet of commercial space. For additional information, visit: www.nychdc.com
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA provides decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low and moderate-income residents throughout the five boroughs. To fulfill this mission, NYCHA must preserve its aging housing stock through timely maintenance and modernization of its developments. NYCHA also administers a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments. Simultaneously, we work to enhance the quality of life at NYCHA by offering our residents opportunities to participate in a multitude of community, educational and recreational programs, as well as job readiness and training initiatives.
About the Met Council
Met Council is one of New York’s largest human services agencies, providing 100,000 New Yorkers with critical services in their fight against poverty every year. For 36 years, Met Council has been an advocate and defender for New Yorkers in need, and has raised awareness around the growing problem of Jewish poverty. With services ranging from domestic violence counseling to kosher food pantries to career training, Met Council helps individuals find lasting solutions to poverty. Learn more at www.metcouncil.org.
About Arker Companies
The Arker Companies has been building projects in New York City for more than 30 years. Located in Floral Park on Long Island, the development company contracts, owns, and manages multi-family and single-family housing, and retail and office projects. It is one of the leading developers of affordable housing in New York in its building of more than 5,000 units, for rent and for sale. Arker also develops market-rate, commercial and mixed-used projects. Company principals are Sol, Allan and Alex Arker and Daniel Moritz.
About the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.