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PR- 185-09
April 26, 2009


$423 Million in New Federal Funding Will Support 70 Shovel-Ready Projects throughout NYCHA Developments in the Five Boroughs

Nearly $70 Million to Replace, Repair and Upgrade Elevators; $87 Million Will Renovate Apartments at Brooklyn’s Whitman-Ingersoll Houses

$209 Million To Be Used For Critical Upgrades to Aging Infrastructure That Will Also Make NYCHA More Energy Efficient Including Installation of Energy Efficient Appliances, Roof and Brick Replacement, and Heating, Plumbing and Electrical Upgrades

Projects will Create Jobs for 3,255 New Yorkers

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and members of the New York Congressional Delegation today announced selections for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) projects that will benefit from $423 million of federal stimulus funding received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was signed by President Obama in February. These funds will be used to supplement and accelerate 70 shovel-ready projects within NYCHA’s 5-year capital plan that will benefit 408,000 residents. Over the next two years, the funds will be used for a total of 70 public housing capital projects, including elevator repairs, boiler replacements, other maintenance, repair, and energy efficiency projects in NYCHA housing developments throughout the five boroughs.  The Mayor was joined for the announcement at Lehman Village Houses in East Harlem by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan; U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer; Congress Members Charles Rangel; Nydia M. Velázquez, Jerrold Nadler, and Carolyn Maloney; Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith; City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn; Councilmember Melissa Mark Viverito; Councilmember and Public Housing Sub-Committee Chair Rosie Mendez; Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis M. Walcott; NYCHA Chairman Ricardo Elías Morales; NYCHA Vice Chair Earl Andrews, Jr.; other City and State elected officials, and public housing advocates.

 “This money will allow us to immediately begin working on more significant upgrade, rehabilitation and energy conservation projects in housing developments throughout the five boroughs, and it will more than double the number of elevators we’ll be able to repair and replace starting this year,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “The stimulus funds will create more than 3,200 jobs, while also improving the apartment buildings of thousands of New Yorkers and affirming our commitment to preserving public housing. I want to thank President Obama and our congressional delegation for their hard work in making sure that New York City received this much-needed funding to help preserve and update our public housing stock.”

NYCHA’s FY 2009 Capital Plan calls for the replacement and upgrade of 97 elevators across 11 developments. With approximately $70 million of ARRA funds specifically earmarked for elevator replacement and upgrades, NYCHA will repair and upgrade an additional 145 elevators in 11 developments throughout the city.  The addition of these funds allows for the repair and upgrade of a total of 242 elevators in 22 developments in 2009. The single largest investment of stimulus funds $87 million – will go toward the renovation and reconfiguration of 1,610 apartments at Whitman-Ingersoll Houses in Brooklyn.

“President Obama’s Recovery Act is the most ambitious economic recovery package in history, providing immediate relief for Americans who have lost their jobs and saving or creating, over the next two years, millions of private sector jobs that will put Americans to work doing the work America needs done,” said Secretary Donovan.  “Just two months after the President signed the Recovery Act, this $423 million will allow NYCHA to start creating jobs, conserving energy and ensuring safety for NYCHA residents.”

The total value of NYCHA projects benefiting from stimulus funding is $518 million and the projects are expected to create or preserve approximately 3,255 jobs for New Yorkers.  Ten percent of NYCHA’s $423 million stimulus allocation will be used for capital project operations and construction management.  The addition of these stimulus funds increases NYCHA’s 5-year capital plan to more than $2 billion.  Job creation estimates were derived from the Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS) Multipliers produced by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The estimate includes construction-related positions and jobs created by the new construction-related employees and companies spending their earnings.

Under the ARRA, public housing agencies are required to give priority to capital projects that can be awarded within 120 days and to contract out all of the funds within 1 year.  ARRA also requires public housing agencies to give priority consideration to the rehabilitation of vacant rental units and capital projects that are already underway or included in their 5-year capital fund plans.  ARRA funding will allow NYCHA to accelerate projects that were part of the agency’s five year plan, and initiate projects that were designed but were deferred due to lack of funding.  $234.7 million of stimulus funded projects were unfunded prior to the receipt of stimulus funds. An additional $146.3 million were shovel-ready and in the five year plan of which $40 million was slated to be funded in 2009.  In May, NYCHA will go through a public process to develop its next annual and five year plan which will result in a reprioritization of its five year capital plan due to the influx of stimulus funds including the $146.3 million of already budgeted projects that will now be funded through ARRA.  ARRA-funded projects, such as the rehabilitation of elevators at Sumner Houses in Brooklyn, will start as early as next month, immediately putting more New Yorkers to work.

Securing investments in New York City housing and infrastructure is a central part of the City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods.  Stimulus funds will create or preserve 2,399 jobs for New Yorkers; the total funding for these projects will create or preserve 3,255 jobs.

 The Recovery Bill will mean a great deal if you live in public housing.  It is providing much needed funds for the New York City Housing Authority.  NYCHA will receive $423 million to undertake repairs and maintenance at its buildings throughout the City,” said Congressman Rangel.  These funds will make up for the shortage of funds during the Bush Administration that prevented NYCHA from doing repairs on elevators, plumbing, heating and installing energy efficient appliances.”

“The housing funding included in the stimulus package is a win-win for New York: it will both create jobs and at the same time complete vital upgrades to affordable housing complexes in all five boroughs. The funding specifically allocated for elevator repairs will complete critical repairs to maintain safety and a basic quality of life for ten of thousands of New Yorkers,” said Senator Schumer. “I was proud to work with the entire New York delegation to secure this funding and applaud Mayor Bloomberg and his team for putting this money to good use for New Yorkers quickly and effectively.”

I welcome today’s announcement by Mayor Bloomberg that stimulus funds we passed in Congress will be used to help NYCHA continue to update, repair, and renovate the affordable housing stock throughout New York City,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. These necessary investments are an important tool towards ensuring that hardworking New York City families are able to live in an environment that is safe and in good working order. I will continue to work with Senator Schumer and the rest of the New York Congressional delegation to fight for New York’s fair share of federal dollars.”

“Improvements to our public housing buildings will begin immediately because of the assistance the stimulus provides, including elevator repairs, roof replacements and energy efficient upgrades.  Not only benefiting tenants in public housing, these resources will also benefit the entire community by helping to put New Yorkers back to work,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, a senior member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.

“This infusion of federal stimulus funding for the New York City Housing Authority doesn't come a day too soon.  Over the last several years, NYCHA has been forced to defer essential capital projects because of chronic budget shortfalls,” said Congressman Nadler. “This $423 million represents a great start in our collective efforts to preserve and improve our public housing stock for current residents and future generations.  And these stimulus dollars will go a great distance toward getting New Yorkers back to work in quality jobs right away.”

 “Funding from the stimulus bill is getting out into our communities quickly, boosting our economy, and helping improve people’s lives.  This $423 million federal investment will go a long way toward making New York’s public housing developments more livable and accessible,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney.  “New York’s public housing system is a reflection of the vitality and sheer size of our city.  In fact, if NYCHA’s 340 housing developments were a city, it’d be the 19th largest in the country.  I applaud Mayor Bloomberg for taking quick action to direct stimulus funding to New Yorkers in need, and I thank President Obama and my colleagues in the New York Congressional delegation for their work to help our economy and our community.”

“Support for public housing is a moral imperative. As someone who represents a district which is home to 25 percent of Queens public housing, I have seen firsthand that NYCHA plays a fundamental role in the strength of our economy and in stabilizing neighborhoods across the city. The importance of maintaining the quality and longevity of these units has never been more important than now when we see an erosion of affordable units at an alarming rate,” said Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith. “The former Administration’s lack of support for affordable housing compromised our state’s investment in these facilities. But, thanks to President Obama and our federal delegation, we were able to secure $460,000 for the Beach 41st Street Houses and millions more in much-needed NYCHA funding that will keep these units affordable for years to come.”

 “I am hopeful that these stimulus dollars will help the New York City Housing Authority make the critical and necessary improvements and repairs to these facilities which provide more than 400,000 New Yorkers with affordable housing, including hundreds of families in my Lower Manhattan district,” said New York State Assembly Speaker Silver.

 “NYCHA is facing a budget gap of approximately $170 million this year and approximately $200 million in subsequent years,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “They have been forced to use capital funding to cover expenses, so money that was meant for the maintenance of elevators, for increasing security measures or to the upkeep of buildings, never went where it was intended.  I am optimistic that we can turn the page on this chapter of NYCHA’s history and start making some necessary investments so that public housing does not become a euphemism for sub-standard or unsafe housing.”

 “NYCHA has long been the backbone of affordable housing for low-income, working families. These stimulus funds will not only improve the quality of our public housing through much-needed upgrades and modernization to lobbies, elevators, heating systems and other parts of the aging infrastructure, they will serve as an infusion to the city’s economy by providing work to small contracting companies that employ local residents,” said State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr., who serves as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development, and who was raised in public housing in the Bronx.

“These funds will have a positive affect towards upgrading important infrastructure at many of our public housing complexes,” said Rep. Gary Ackerman, who grew up in public housing in Queens. “It will also help meet the growing needs of individuals and families who reside in public housing. We thank the Mayor for making this a priority.”

“Adequate housing is a right for all people, and the use of the stimulus money to improve and repair our public housing is a benefit not only to the residents but to the people who will work to make these improvements,” said Congressman Eliot Engel. “This dual use of federal funds will help the economy as well as the people in New York City housing and I applaud this program for the good work it is accomplishing.”

“The upgrades and repairs that the recovery funds enabled in our communities will soon pay for themselves in energy savings,” said Congressman José E. Serrano. “So while we generate jobs with this spending, we are also investing in the long-term financial health of the City and also families through energy savings. This is a great example of the type of wise spending with so many positive impacts that we were aiming for with the economic recovery package.”

“As the State Assemblyman representing the 68th assembly district, home to 51 percent of New York City’s Public housing stock, I understand how vital and necessary the $423 million in federal stimulus monies are,” said Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell. “This additional revenue will provide our communities with the opportunity to improve the quality of housing provided to low and moderate income families.  This is a much needed investment many public housing residents have been waiting far too long for in order to make much needed capital improvements.  This stands as a testament to President Obama’s dedication to our urban communities.”

“With this federal stimulus money, we can improve thousands upon thousands of affordable housing units,” said Housing and Buildings Committee Chair Erik Martin-Dilan. “This significant amount of funding will allow critical improvements to our vast NYCHA housing stock while also addressing the very basic necessity of safe and reliably elevators. As local elected officials, we are extremely pleased that our federal government has recognized the critical need to maintain and improve housing for the New Yorkers who need it most.”

 “After 8 years of neglect from the previous Administration, NYCHA residents will finally get some much needed capital improvements to their homes,” said Public Housing Sub-Committee Chair Rosie Mendez. “For too long, residents were left to sit and wait while in some cases the roof literally crashed down upon them.  This funding is coming not a moment too soon.” 

“The upgrades coming to complexes across the City will greatly improve the quality of life for the nearly half-million residents of NYCHA developments,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito.  “We’re not talking about aesthetic improvements – we are talking about substantive improvements such as elevator upgrades and more secure roofs – basic necessities that were left to deteriorate for far too long and that will improve the quality of life of thousands of public housing residents.”

“Residents in NYCHA developments have known for a long while that they’re homes needed a massive infusion of investment, and today that day has come,” said Council Member Inez Dickens.  “This funding will help alleviate some of the most glaring challenges facing NYCHA residents, and improve the overall quality of life.  I want to thank all of our partners at the Federal level for sending the message that NYCHA residents are not second class citizens.”

Today’s announcement marks the beginning of the regeneration of public housing in New York. After 75 years of serving New Yorkers and playing an important role in the growth of the City, our developments and our residents deserve the recognition they are getting from Washington,” said NYCHA Chairman Ricardo Elías Morales. The credit goes to Mayor Bloomberg for the support he has shown for the Stimulus Bill, to the entire New York Congressional delegation and to the resident leadership who have helped make America aware that this money was needed and should be earmarked for NYCHA’s future.”

The allocation of where the ARRA dollars were to be used was predicated, not on a borough basis, but on the combination of what projects were ‘shovel-ready’ and part of NYCHA’s five-year capital plan, as required by the Act, and those that demonstrated the most immediate need for residents. This combination of ARRA and other Federal funds means that $149 million will now be spent on much-needed roof repairs; $50 million will be used to repair brickwork; $21 million for new refrigerators will yield a savings of $1.4 million a year in energy costs; and approximately $70 million will provide for elevator modernization, while $180 million will go towards apartment renovation. Of the $423 million, approximately $209 million will go towards making public housing more energy efficient.

ARRA Funding as Distributed by Borough

  • Brooklyn - $181.4 million
  • Bronx - $89.66 million
  • Queens - $47.9 million
  • Manhattan - $14.85 million
  • Citywide, including Staten Island - $89.4 million

Approximately 10 percent of the ARRA funds received will be for ensuring that NYCHA has the staff capacity to manage these projects, including the duties associated with performing physical needs assessments, capital planning, preparation of regulatory reports and monitoring compliance with federal regulations, procurement of contracts, processing invoices and change orders, prevailing wage reviews and investigations.

Elevator Repair and Replacement

Prior to NYCHA receiving Federal stimulus funds, there were 13 developments with 139 elevators scheduled for repair or replacement in the FY 2009 Plan. Upon approval for stimulus funding, 2 additional projects with 42 elevators were moved into the FY 2009 Plan and 9 projects with 103 elevators were moved up, allowing NYCHA to add more elevators to the number of those already scheduled for repair or replacement. The FY 2009 plan now has 11 developments with 97 elevators and with stimulus funds, there are an additional 11 developments with 145 elevators for a total of 242 elevators at 22 developments to be repaired or replaced. 

Location:  King Towers – Manhattan

Built in 1954, King Towers Houses sits on 13.75 acres and has ten, 13- and 14- story buildings with 1,378 apartments, and a total population of 3,057.

Project Description:  Funding will be used to rehabilitate the development’s 20 passenger elevators located in 10 buildings.  Upgrades will include new control systems, machines, cabs, platforms, door operators, signal fixtures, hoistway entrances and associated door equipment.  Benefits to residents include more reliable service with modern-day microprocessor-based elevator control equipment. ARRA funding allows the complete modernization of all the development’s elevators. The project is anticipated to begin late 2009.

Total Project Cost: $8.27 million
Direct Stimulus Funding: $8.27 million
Estimated Start/End Dates:  December 2009 – February 2012

Apartment Renovations

Location:  Whitman-Ingersoll Houses – Brooklyn

Built in 1944, Whitman Houses sits on 18.44 acres and has 15 buildings that are 6 and 13 stories tall with 1,652 apartments and a total population of 2,358.  Ingersoll Houses sits on 22.9 acres and has 20 buildings, 6 and 11-stories tall, with 1,823 apartments and a total population of 2,323.  

Project Description: Funding will be used to renovate and reconfigure 1,610 apartments in 19 buildings and will include upgrades of  kitchens and bathrooms, plumbing, electrical; painting and plastering of walls; replacement of closet and interior doors and floor tiles;  and installation of  new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 

Total Project Cost: $171.7 million
Direct Stimulus Funding: $80 million
Pre-Stimulus Funding: $ 91.7 million
Estimated Start/End Dates:   November 2009 – February 2012

Brick and Roof Replacement

Without necessary repairs to roofs and brickwork, the entire structure of a building is vulnerable to water damage which can cause damage throughout the building, to its structure, elevator operation, and exposes it to mold and mildew infiltration.  In addition, a building with a secure roof and walls conserves energy, resulting in lower heating costs.

Location:  Soundview Houses – Bronx

Built in 1954, Soundview Houses sits on 26.29 acres and has thirteen 7-story buildings with 1,258 apartments, and a total population of 3,146.

Project Description: Funding will be used to replace leaking roofs and cracked and leaning parapet walls, as well as to perform asbestos abatement in all 13 buildings.  This project will seal the buildings from water penetration and prevent heat loss.  New roof insulation will contribute to decreased fuel costs; replacement of parapet and façade will provide for public safety, and will produce jobs in the construction trades.  Approximately 160,000 square feet of roofing, 11,000 linear feet of parapet walls, 40,000 square feet of brick repointing, and 10,000 square feet of brick replacement will take place. This project had been deferred until year 2012 due to lack of capital funding; however, as a result of ARRA funds, the project is anticipated to begin in early 2010.

Total Project Cost: $26 million
Direct Stimulus Funding: $26 million
Estimated Start/End Dates:  February 2010 – February 2012

Energy-Efficient Appliance Replacements (Refrigerators and Stoves)

Location:  Fifty-three NYCHA developments throughout the five boroughs.

Project Description: Funding will be used to replace aging refrigerators. NYCHA will purchase and install approximately 56,000 Energy-Star rated refrigerators that will be installed in 53 developments throughout the five boroughs. The replacement schedule is based on the age and general operating condition of the existing appliance; the average replacement cycle for refrigerators 12-15 years. 

NYCHA will also purchase 22,000 energy efficient ‘pilotless’ ignition ranges to be installed at various developments throughout the five boroughs.   Final sites will be determined based on age and general operating condition of existing ranges.  The purchase and installation of the new refrigerators and ranges will reduce repair and maintenance costs associated with aging appliances, energy expenditures and NYCHA’s carbon footprint.  In addition, this project will provide employment opportunities. Over the two-year installation period, refrigerator and range distribution, delivery and installation and recycle jobs will be created.

Approximately one in every three apartments will receive a new stove or energy-efficient refrigerator, resulting in $1.4 million in annual electricity cost savings to NYCHA.  ARRA funding for this project will allow NYCHA to replace its aging appliances stock at a much faster rate than previously planned.

Total Project Cost: $24 million
Direct Stimulus Funding: $24 million
Estimated Start/End Dates:  July 2009 – February 2012

Energy Conservation (Heating, Water, Electrical Upgrades)

NYCHA is struggling with ever-increasing energy costs.  Its bill last year for electricity, gas, water and heat was $530 million, up from $486 million in 2007.  By becoming more energy efficient, NYCHA will not only help to bring these costs back in line, but help to reduce its carbon footprint.

Location:  Beach  41st Street Houses - Queens

Built in 1973, Beach 41st Street Houses sits on 13.3 acres and has four 13 story buildings with 712 apartments and a total population of 1,658.

Project Description: Funding will be used to replace six condensate pumps, four sump pumps, and vacuum pumps of the heating systems in four buildings. Installation of the new heating system components will improve the operation and efficiency of the development’s heating and hot water systems will result in energy savings and will also create job opportunities. The project is expected to begin this summer.

Total Project Cost: $3.86 million
Direct Stimulus Funding: $460,000
Pre-Stimulus Funding: $3.4 million
Estimated Start/End Dates:  June 2009 – August 2010

To maintain accountability and transparency in the City’s use of stimulus funding, all such funding allocated to New York City can be closely tracked at  ARRA dollars can be tracked from initial allocation through project completion.  In addition, the public can track key performance measures – such as jobs created – showing how these projects and programs benefit the City.

More Resources
Download the project list (in PDF)