FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 19, 2017
NYCHA, NYS, AND HUD ANNOUNCE $560 MILLION UPGRADE AND PRESERVATION OF NYCHA’S OCEAN BAY BAYSIDE APARTMENTS IN FAR ROCKAWAY
Renews Sandy-Stricken NYCHA Complex, Preserves Tenants’ Rights and Long-Term Affordability for 4,000 New Yorkers
First HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration Project by NYCHA – Largest Single-Site Transaction in the Country
FAR ROCKAWAY, NY – June 19, 2017 – The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced $560 million in federal, state, city, and private investment in NYCHA’s Ocean Bay (Bayside) Apartments to finance essential infrastructure upgrades, support state-of-the-art resiliency and security systems, and the renovation and preservation of the public housing complex that is home to nearly 4,000 residents in Far Rockaway, Queens. This is NYCHA’s first conversion under HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), which allows housing authorities to access private capital to meet capital needs while also protecting long-term affordability. Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) is New York City’s implementation of RAD, which includes collaboration between NYCHA, residents, the community and housing advocates.
The 24-building, 1,395-unit Ocean Bay (Bayside) Apartments complex is home to nearly 4,000 New Yorkers, providing vital affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers. Completed and first occupied in the early 1960s, the aging development was already facing critical maintenance needs and a deteriorating infrastructure before suffering extensive damage from Superstorm Sandy including flooding and the destruction of the central heating plant. To this day, the complex relies on temporary boilers. Some of the more notable renovations needed include roof replacements, complete upgrade of elevator machinery and equipment, new boilers and heating systems. The development is located along Beach Channel Drive between Beach 54th and Beach 58th streets in Far Rockaway.
Led by RDC Development, a joint venture between MDG Design + Construction and Wavecrest Management Team, the three-year, $327 million restoration of Ocean Bay (Bayside) will involve a major overhaul of the development’s infrastructure, with upgrades improving the overall community. All apartments will undergo extensive renovations of the kitchens and bathrooms. To prepare for future extreme weather events, the restoration will also include a suite of resiliency measures, such as the third-largest solar panel installation at an affordable housing development in New York State, a secure flood wall, water retention swales, stand-alone electric service buildings built above the flood zone, and the conversion from one central boiler steam system to 24 individual hydronic boilers on the roof of each building.
To provide residents with a safer, more secure community, there will also be new and updated security cameras, improved interior and exterior lighting and a new key fob entry system.
“Through PACT, we are able to provide our residents with the necessary repairs while also preserving public housing for future generations,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “This innovative partnership will strengthen the Ocean Bay community and provide almost 1,400 New York families with much needed upgrades and improvements for their homes.”
“Today HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration proves again that we can successfully address the scale of capital needs in public housing by leveraging private investment,” said Mirza Orriols, HUD Deputy Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “The residents of NYCHA’s Ocean Bay development will soon see dramatic improvements in their quality of life, made possible by a program which has leveraged $19 for every dollar of HUD funding.”
“HUD’s RAD program spurs private investment in public housing, providing funds to preserve and upgrade this critical housing stock that is home to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers across the state,” said New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas. “This is government at its best and we are proud to be a part of driving investment in public housing across the state. Here in New York City, the State worked with NYCHA – providing $213 million in tax-exempt bonds – to make their first RAD financing of nearly 1,400 units at the Ocean Bay complex possible. The result: Federal, local and state agencies working together to catalyze a public-private financing structure that supports vital capital improvements and respects tenants’ rights and needs.”
The total development costs are $560 million, including $213 million in New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA) tax-exempt bonds, and $170 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Equity. A further $1.1 million was secured via the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) generated from solar. All 1,395 of the apartments will be covered under a new, Project-Based Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment through the HUD RAD1 program. Citi provided the construction loan and permanent financing and Richman Housing Resources syndicated the LIHTC.
“I am proud to support the restoration of the Ocean Bay Apartments, which were heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy,” said State Senator James Sanders Jr. “This development provides vital housing to thousands of vulnerable residents and is an important part of the community. It will ensure that Ocean Bay Apartments remain a clean, safe place to live. This renovation is just another testament to how Far Rockaway is coming back stronger and better than ever after Hurricane Sandy.”
“This long overdue restoration will improve the standard of living for the thousands of residents of Ocean Bay,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The new security cameras in particular are intended to enhance security for the families who call Ocean Bay ‘home.’ With these extensive restorations, the community will finally be able to enjoy a better quality of life through upon completion of these infrastructure improvements announced today.” Borough President Katz issued a $495,000 capital allocation from her FY16 discretionary funds toward the purchase and installation of the new security cameras.
The Ocean Bay (Bayside) restoration marks NYCHA’s first RAD project and the largest single-site RAD transaction in the country. RAD allows public housing authorities to shift apartments funded by HUD’s Public Housing program (under Section 9) to a long-term contract under Section 8 that provides the stability to attract new investment. RAD preserves the strong tenant protections of the public housing program, and restricts resident rent to no more than 30 percent of income. The program also guarantees permanent affordability through mandatory contract renewals, and preserves NYCHA’s ownership interest in the property.
NYCHA implemented the RAD conversion locally through a process called Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT). Beginning with a set of values and principles, NYCHA engaged Ocean Bay residents, community stakeholders, and housing advocates in an extensive dialogue that tailored the project to address community needs, and strengthened NYCHA’s long-term plans to ensure affordability. Through PACT and the regulatory flexibility of RAD, NYCHA was able to access $325 million in funding for repairs, including $194.4 million from FEMA.
“It is not enough to simply rebuild; we must look for ways to eliminate the vulnerabilities that allowed for such extensive damage in the first place,” said FEMA’s NY Sandy Public Assistance Branch Chief Claude Hyacinthe. “The Ocean Bay PAAP 428 project is an excellent example of Community Recovery intent on learning from the lessons of Sandy, and moving forward in a manner that sets the standard for resiliency nationwide.”
Beyond upgrading building infrastructure and amenities, the project will include the implementation of a comprehensive social services framework, designed to empower this community to live fuller, healthier lives and reach their full potential. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens (CCBQ) will provide social services tailored to the needs of residents of the Ocean Bay community. CCBQ has provided services in the Rockaways for many years and currently operates over 160 programs including programs for seniors, children, families, and young adults. Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation has already helped to drive job creation in the local community by providing residents with job opportunities over the course of the project, while paving the way for long-term relationships and potential full-time positions. Wavecrest Management and MDG subcontractors have committed to hiring 40 NYCHA residents over the course of the project, and are on track to surpass that number.
“This project represents more than just the restoration of the Ocean Bay complex – it breathes new life into the Bayside community, giving renewed hope to the nearly 4,000 people who call Ocean Bay home,” said Michael T. Rooney, Sr., principal of MDG Design + Construction. “We are focused on delivering extensive upgrades that will not only improve the quality of life for residents, but will ensure the long-term preservation of affordable housing for some of the most vulnerable members of this community. With an ambitious three-year timeline for project completion, we’re committed to working closely with the residents to mitigate the personal disruption of their homes while renovations are underway.”
“We are proud to be part of the development team that will restore hope to the residents of Ocean Bay Bayside,” said Susan L. Camerata, Chief Financial Officer of the Wavecrest Management Team. “The optimism that the extensive renovations will foster is a building block for our relationship with the nearly 4,000 residents. As both managers and developers, we are keenly aware that the management of the property is more than just the physical plant. To treat all residents with respect, deliver on promises and to ensure a well maintained, safe and affordable complex will be the cornerstone of our partnership.”
“This project truly allows us to uphold our commitment to providing those in need with access to much needed social services,” said Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, President and CEO of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and Subsidiary Agencies. “Catholic Charities is pleased to be in a partnership that shares our commitment to improving the lives of the most vulnerable and we look forward to working collaboratively with our partners in providing the residents at Ocean Bay Apartments access to quality programs and services.”
“High-quality affordable housing is critical to the future of cities across the country, which is why projects like this are so vital,” said Ed Skyler, Executive Vice President for Global Public Affairs at Citi. “As the leading affordable housing lender in the United States, we will continue to help build infrastructure that revitalizes our neighborhoods and our communities. We are proud to support this initiative and thank and congratulate our partners in this project, including the many governmental agencies, development team and residents. It was truly a team effort and one that will significantly benefit the Ocean Bay residents and Bayside community.”
“Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation strives to improve the community’s socio-economic population and revitalize the region by creating a healthier, safer, more prosperous, and better educated population,” said Patricia Simon, Executive Director at Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation. “To achieve this, we offer three distinct services: Resident Resources, Workforce Development, and Community Engagement. During this restoration project, we have focused our resources on helping the Ocean Bay residents embrace the change in quality of life. Our Service Coordinators worked directly with residents to ensure all information was understandable and our Workforce team prepared several workers for employment opportunities on the project. Further, our Community Engagement team created an open forum where residents could obtain information and address concerns. As we strive for success on this restoration project, Ocean Bay Community Development Corp. is working to make this transition transparent and consistent.”
“Ocean Bay has created a model to preserve public housing for the lowest income New Yorkers across the five boroughs,” said Margaret Anadu, Goldman Sachs Managing Director who heads the Urban Investment Group. “We’re proud to be a lead investor in financing this nearly 1,400-unit rehabilitation effort that will incorporate best-in-class resiliency measures, ensuring its ongoing sustainability for years to come.”
"This restoration and rejuvenation of Ocean Bay Apartments gives new life not only to 1,400 apartments and the families who live here, but to the whole community,”said Bill Traylor, Chairman of Richman Housing Resources. “The investment in Ocean Bay is the keystone to building a vibrant, dynamic Far Rockaway community."
State Investment is Expanding Access to Affordable Housing
The revitalization of Ocean Bay (Bayside) Apartments aligns with Governor Cuomo’s 2018 State Budget that provides $2.5 billion of the $20 billion Housing Plan to finance the creation and rehabilitation of 100,000 affordable and 6,000 supportive housing units. The goal under the new five-year plan is to target a near 50/50 split between new construction and preservation and between units funded in New York City and those throughout the rest of the state. HCR has financed more than $1.9 billion in total development costs under RAD, preserving the affordability of more than 8,470 units. This includes 6,928 units of critical middle-income Mitchell-Lama housing stock and 1,542 NYCHA and other public housing units across the state.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 326 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nychaand for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA
About MDG Design + Construction
MDG Design + Construction (MDG) is a leading real estate firm that develops, constructs, and manages quality affordable housing. MDG specializes in the moderate rehabilitation and new construction of residential apartment buildings in New York City and Long Island, and is the industry leader in occupied rehabilitations. For nearly 30 years, our hands-on approach and people-first philosophy has resulted in effective collaborations with developers, tenant organizations, community groups, and staff to produce high quality homes that residents are proud to live in. To date, MDG has created or preserved 17,000 units of affordable housing and is responsible for nearly $1.6 billion in construction and development. Learn more at www.mdgny.com.
About The Wavecrest Management Team
The Wavecrest Management Team Ltd (Wavecrest Management Group LLC) is a full service management company that manages approximately 20,000 residential units in over 350 buildings in the New York metropolitan area. Our specialty, for over 30 years, has and is the management of affordable housing, with a majority of the buildings located in The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. Wavecrest employs over 100 full-time individuals to carry out the services necessary to properly manage its portfolio of units. Our main office is located in Queens and we have site offices in The Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn. The cornerstone of our management strategy is a firm belief that given the necessary resources we can and have been successful in the management of the residential buildings that we have been chosen to manage. http://www.wavecrestmanagement.com/
About the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
For over 50 years, HUD's mission has been to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all Americans. In New York, HUD funding provides rental assistance for over 600,000 households, homeless services for more than 70,000 individuals statewide, single-family mortgage insurance for nearly 300,000 New Yorkers, homeownership counseling at more than 150 local community-based organizations, and more than $7 billion in disaster recovery funding to the State in the wake of Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. HUD also enforces the Fair Housing Act in partnership with 13 state and local agencies across New York. More information about HUD and its programs is available at hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also connect with HUD on social media, follow Secretary Carson on Twitter or Facebook, and sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.