FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 19, 2023
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NYCHA and Resident Leaders Select Vaya Development, Ascendant Neighborhood Development, and McCormack Baron Salazar as PACT Partners to Address $189.3 Million in Repair Needs for 10 Residential Buildings Across Central and East Harlem
More than 1,500 residents will receive comprehensive apartment modernizations, building system upgrades, and roofing renovations through the PACT program
The PACT project builds on the more than $2 billion driven in 2022 to renovate over 8,500 apartments across 17 developments, with support from the Adams administration
NEW YORK – The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), in partnership with resident leaders, today announced the selection of a development team comprised of the Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Vaya Development, the non-profit Ascendant Neighborhood Development, and the real estate firm McCormack Baron Salazar to comprehensively modernize a collection of 10 residential buildings in Central and East Harlem. The sites include Jackie Robinson Houses (189 apartments), 131 Saint Nicholas Avenue (100 apartments), Corsi Houses (171 apartments), Morris Park Senior Citizens Home (97 apartments), Taft Rehabs (156 apartments), UPACA 5 (200 apartments), and UPACA 6 (150 apartments), collectively the project is known as Jackie Robinson and the Harlem Scattered Sites. The general contractor L+M Builders Group and the property manager C+C Apartment Management will be responsible for repairs, capital improvements and day-to-day management of the buildings once they convert to Project-Based Section 8 through NYCHA’s Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program. A local non-profit social service provider will provide enhanced community services and programs after conversion.
“After delivering $2 billion for major renovations for NYCHA residents through the PACT program in 2022, we are already delivering hundreds of millions of dollars more to improve quality of life in NYCHA developments in 2023,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Thanks to an inclusive process that put residents front and center, more than 1,500 NYCHA residents across Central and East Harlem will benefit from not only safer, more modern homes but also social services and additional community resources. Our administration has made it clear that NYCHA residents deserve the same quality of life as every other New Yorker, and every day, we move closer to making that a reality.”
“Congratulations to the more than 1,500 New Yorkers who will soon have the long overdue repairs they have been waiting for. It is imperative that we as a city continue to drive investment and resources into our public housing stock to ensure that it continues to serve hundreds of thousands of our neighbors,” said Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “The PACT program is one of the key tools available to us to give NYCHA residents homes they can be proud of. This $190 million overhaul is an exciting opportunity to give 1,036 apartments a new lease on life.”
“This portfolio of NYCHA developments across Central and Eastern Harlem are home to more than 1,500 residents – more than half of whom are seniors – and will receive comprehensive rehabilitation, including safety and security upgrades in direct response to resident concerns,” said NYCHA Interim CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “The Authority will continue to utilize the PACT program to make the repairs and renovations needed to meaningfully improve the living conditions of public housing residents.”
"Today’s PACT partner designation is an important first step towards addressing the repair needs that have affected the quality of life for residents at these developments for many years,” said NYCHA Real Estate Development Executive Vice President Jonathan Gouveia. “Residents led the process of identifying the issues they wanted addressed and choosing the team best positioned to address them. The result is a partnership that will yield drastic improvements in the day-to-day lives of NYCHA residents.”
“We are proud to have been chosen to make the vision of residents a reality,” said Vaya Development Principal Melissa Bindra. “Through the PACT program, we have the opportunity to address the critical needs and priorities of public housing residents allowing seniors to age in place comfortably and families to better enjoy their homes. This investment in the Jackie Robinson and Harlem Scattered Sites portfolio furthers our community-focused mission to contribute to a more equitable and resilient future by enhancing residents’ quality of life, supporting vital local resources, and creating job opportunities. We look forward to working together with residents, NYCHA, our partners, and the wider community to provide these long overdue improvements and comprehensive services.”
"Along with its partners Vaya Development and McCormack Baron Salazar, Ascendant is honored to have been selected by the residents of the Jackie Robinson and Harlem Scattered Sites developments to partner with them on the revitalization of their homes,” said Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation Executive Director and President Chris Cirillo. “We are ready to get to work planning for the management transition that will bring immediate improvements to residents' quality of life. And we look forward to implementing the residents' vision for the comprehensive rehabilitation of their buildings."
“McCormack Baron Salazar is honored to have been selected alongside our partners Ascendant and Vaya Development by residents of Jackie Robinson and Harlem Scattered Sites to bring to life the vision of transformation through commitment and promise,” said McCormack Baron Salazar Chairman Richard Baron. “We welcome the opportunity as part of the team to serve NYCHA residents, but more importantly, touching lives through the much-needed and long-awaited neighborhood revitalization.”
"Every public housing resident deserves a safe, quality place to call home, which is why we're proud to build on our successful track record with the PACT program to significantly improve living conditions for residents at Jackie Robinson," said L+M Development Partners Senior Vice President, Community Affairs Yasmin Cornelius. "As we have with previous PACT projects, our approach is always driven by community engagement and we will continue to work closely with current residents to ensure the renovation plans reflect their needs and priorities. We look forward to advancing our vision alongside our project partners to deliver the comprehensive upgrades these East Harlem residents urgently need."
“Through the PACT program, we will finally get repairs done in a timely manner. We are confident that the future PACT team will deliver what they promise. We are hopeful of positive outcomes for the residents and the surrounding community,” said UPACA 6 Resident Association President Maria Pacheco.
“I am very happy with our selected partners and am looking forward to the changes,” said Jackie Robinson Resident Association President, Birdie Glenn.
“I have nothing but love for the NYCHA PACT program and our new PACT Partners. I am eagerly awaiting the change to come,” said Morris Park Resident Association Secretary Peggy Barbour.
“I encourage residents to continue to participate in the PACT meetings while we continue to plan with our new partners. I am looking forward to the apartment repairs and having a security system in place,” said 131 Saint Nicholas Avenue Resident Association President Gloria White.
"We are hopeful that we will be impacted in the same positive way as we've seen at other PACT renovated buildings," said UPACA 5 Resident Association President Carolyn Webb.
The seven developments are spread across 10 buildings in the Central and Eastern sections of Harlem. The group includes a variety of building types including mid- and high-rise buildings, some built as early as 1900 and others as late as 1987 Several of the developments have a sizable senior population, and a legacy of community activism was instrumental in the formation of UPACA (Site 5) and UPACA (Site 6). The buildings are named for the Upper Park Avenue Community Association, a community organization focused on addressing urban blight during the 1970s.
The capital repair needs identified by residents included addressing persistent leaks, strengthening security measures, resolving service outages, beautifying the properties through landscape improvements, and taking down building scaffolding.
In partnership with resident leaders, the Jackie Robinson and the Harlem Scattered Sites were announced in October 2021. NYCHA's engagement process at these sites included several large resident meetings and information sessions about resident rights and the design and construction process. A resident review committee was convened to review project proposals, interview, and select the PACT partner team.
The development team is led by Vaya Development, a Latina-owned real estate development firm specializing in preserving and building high-quality and sustainable affordable housing and mixed-use communities in New York City. Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation is a non-profit developer based in East Harlem with 35 years of experience developing, rehabilitating, and preserving family and senior affordable housing in New York City. The nonprofit currently owns and operates 28 buildings in East and Central Harlem and is an active member of the community investing in neighborhood planning, historic preservation, and public art initiatives. McCormack Baron Salazar is one of the nation’s leading affordable and mixed-income housing developers over the past 50 years and has developed over 25,300 housing units and 1.6 million square feet of commercial space.
The proposed renovation plan submitted by Vaya Development, Ascendant Neighborhood Development, and McCormack Baron Salazar will result in new flooring, windows, kitchen cabinets, plumbing fixtures, and bathroom appliances as well as aging-in-place upgrades for apartments. At the building level, expected renovations will include new security, intercom, and access systems, heating and plumbing system upgrades, façade repairs, customized amenity spaces, accessibility upgrades, and outdoor improvements.
The development team will begin an exhaustive inspection process to determine the scope of needs across the different sites. These inspections will inform the necessary rehabilitation, environmental remediation, and in-unit repairs that have to be addressed. Construction on the developments is currently scheduled to commence next year.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest public housing authority in North America, was created in 1935 to provide decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. NYCHA is home to roughly 1 in 16 New Yorkers across over 177,000 apartments within 335 housing developments. NYCHA serves over 339,000 residents through the conventional public housing program (Section 9), over 29,000 residents at developments that have been converted to PACT/RAD, and over 92,000 families through federal rent subsidies (the Section 8 Leased Housing Program). In addition, NYCHA connects residents to opportunities in financial empowerment, business development, career advancement, and educational programs. With a housing stock that spans all five boroughs, NYCHA is a city within a city.