FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 11, 2017
CONTACT: Juliet Pierre-Antoine, 212-863-5682
NYC DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSIONER MARIA TORRES-SPRINGER & BFC PARTNERS TOUR MAJOR STATEN ISLAND PRESERVATION PROJECT WITH GRADUATING CLASS OF HPD INSPECTORS
HPD Commissioner Takes Graduating Code Enforcement Inspector Class On Final Exercise Before Thursday Graduation
North Shore Plaza, Formerly Arlington Terrace, Received Extensive Rehabilitation to Drastically Improve Tenant Living Conditions and Preserve Affordability
STATEN ISLAND, NY – NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer today led a tour of North Shore Plaza in Staten Island with Deputy Commissioner Vito Mustaciuolo and the graduating class of HPD Code Enforcement inspectors. They will be joined by Don Capoccia, principal of BFC Partners, which has worked with HPD to rehabilitate and preserve affordability at the four-building complex since acquiring it in 2014 in partnership with K&R Preservation.
“Each and every day, HPD inspectors fan the five boroughs to ensure that New Yorkers have a safe and quality place to call home,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “It was a privilege to join our newest class of inspectors at North Shore Plaza in Staten Island today for the conclusion of their training. North Shore Plaza is one of the many developments that have been transformed by HPD's efforts ranging from code enforcement by our inspectors to rehabilitation work through Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and project-based Section 8 funding. None of this work is possible without federal funding and as the budget takes shape in Washington, we will continue to make clear the real impact this funding has on the lives of so many New Yorkers.”
Today’s tour concludes an extensive training program for the new class of inspectors, with nearly 30 guest presenters and lecturers, role-plays, computer lab workshops, and field training. The program is designed to familiarize inspectors with all facets of Code Enforcement as well as the broader mission of HPD. Trainees learn the ins and outs of the City’s Housing Maintenance Code and Multiple Dwelling Law 101 as well as HPD core values such as integrity, ethics, and customer service.
Following their graduation on Thursday, 19 new inspectors will join the ranks of the 349 inspectors who make up HPD’s Code Enforcement division. This team performs over 500,000 Code Enforcement inspections every year, ensuring that landlords are held accountable for each leak, each incident of mold, and lack of essential services like heat and hot water. Every day, these inspectors are on the frontlines of HPD’s work to ensure that all New Yorkers have a quality and safe place to call home.
Not long ago, North Shore Plaza, then called Arlington Terrace, received a great deal of attention from HPD’s Code Enforcement division, receiving thousands of violations for its poor living conditions. The 536-unit complex began to turn around when BFC Partners and K&R Preservation acquired the complex in 2014 and received $75 million from HPD and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to finance an extensive rehabilitation and lock in affordability for tenants. In addition to this funding, North Shore Plaza was able to take advantage of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and now benefits from a Project Based Voucher (PBV) Section 8 Contract. This project also benefited from strong support from Staten Island Council Member Debi Rose and her steadfast advocacy for the tenants of North Shore Plaza.
“North Shore Plaza is a story of revitalization that vividly illustrates the role that federal programs play in preserving the quality and affordability of our City’s aging housing infrastructure. An infusion of funding made possible critical renovations while the creative use of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program to secure project-based Section 8 will provide long-term stability to for over five hundred families,” said Eric Enderlin, President of the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC).
“We are proud to preserve affordability at North Shore Plaza and ensure safety and a better quality of life for the hundreds of families who call it home,” said Don Capoccia, principal of BFC Partners. “Our team is committed to maintaining North Shore Plaza to the highest standards while also creating new job opportunities for local residents through our forthcoming workforce training program. We are grateful to NYC HPD and HDC for providing the crucial resources needed to rehabilitate this property and provide the brighter future its residents deserve.”
“Effective governing often benefits from decisive partnerships with multiple branches of government,” said New York City Councilmember Debi Rose. “Today, I gratefully applaud Commissioner Torres-Springer’s announcement of the transformative upgrades made at North Shore Plaza that will include infrastructure, new kitchens and bathrooms painting, flooring and interior doors including the common areas. These changes were shepherded by our friends Don Capoccia and Joe Ferrara, owners of BFC, to rehabilitate 536 units with support from HPD and HDC funding. Additionally, our stock of affordable housing, one of the greatest needs in my district, was enhanced due to the use of project based Section 8 housing, supported with funding via the federal government's Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration Program. All this government investment will be protected by HPD's crucial Code Enforcement inspectors, under the leadership of Deputy Commissioner Vito Mustaciuolo, 19 of whom will graduate on Thursday and dedicate themselves to overseeing that our landlords fully comply with administrative codes regarding services they must offer their tenants. This ‘perfect storm’ of intragovernmental cooperation between the federal and local branches is a model that must be protected and emulated. This is a most satisfactory win for the residents of North Shore Plaza and the immediate community of Arlington.”
Utilizing these resources, BFC Partners and K&R Preservation completed significant upgrades to the roofing system, repairs to the exterior walls, replacement of the boilers and oil tanks with direct vent sealed combustion, as well as brand new kitchens, bathrooms, new paint, flooring, and doors in the interior units and common areas. This work was a major factor in remedying and closing over 3,000 violations. Additionally, BFC and K&R installed new security cameras throughout the complex, which have greatly increased safety and quality of life for residents. The building and the surrounding neighborhood is on a path to revitalization with the development of Empire Outlets and the Staten Island Observation Wheel.
BFC is also providing additional workforce training for approximately 850 local residents, including many low-income residents of North Shore Plaza. The free training program, which will be officially launched later this year, will help residents gain retail employment opportunities at Empire Outlets by helping them build customer service skills, learn key retail principles, and develop their resume writing and interview skills.
Today’s tour and the rehabilitation of North Shore Plaza demonstrate how affordable housing and economic opportunity are on the rise in Staten Island, and illustrate the important role that federal funding plays in the work the city is doing to provide safe quality homes to all of its residents. The new inspector class and their work is 75% federally funded, covering inspections, as well as the over 7,000 emergency repairs, over 16,000 housing litigation cases, and the emergency shelter provisions that HPD provides every year. Acquiring and rehabilitating North Shore Plaza would not have been possible without RAD and Section 8 funding. With the Federal budget battle underway in Washington DC, the new inspector class and the revitalized North Shore Plaza are concrete examples of what’s at stake.
About the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.