FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, July 19, 2017
CONTACT: Libby Rohlfing, rohlfinge@hpd.nyc.gov, (212) 863-8076

 

ENTERPRISE AWARDS NEW YORK CITY $1.65 MILLION TO SUPPORT THE FORMATION AND EXPANSION OF COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS 

Grant awarded to fund four initiatives citywide, including a new CLT to promote affordable homeownership in southeast Queens and Brooklyn

 

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer announced today that $1.65 million will be granted to create and expand Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in New York City through Enterprise’s new Community Land Trusts Capacity Building Initiative.  A CLT is a not-for-profit organization formed to own land and to maintain control and oversight of houses or rental buildings located on the land.  The CLT sells the buildings to qualified buyers but retains ownership of the land to preserve the long term affordability of its housing resources. The grant will provide funding to three CLTs to meet affordable housing development and neighborhood revitalization goals, including one to support affordable homeownership citywide, but primarily in southeast Queens, Edgemere, and central Brooklyn.  The award will also fund a CLT Learning Exchange for community-based organizations and affordable housing developers seeking to form CLTs in their neighborhoods. Funding for the initiative comes from a bank settlement negotiated by New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. 

“Community-driven solutions are at the heart of Housing New York, and our efforts to secure affordability in neighborhoods from East Harlem to Edgemere require a robust set of tools and a diverse group of partners able to build and preserve affordable housing,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “We are grateful to Enterprise for helping us to expand the use of Community Land Trusts to promote affordable homeownership and neighborhood revitalization, among other critical goals of the housing plan.  We congratulate all of the awardees and look forward to working with them to grow the capacity of CLTs across the city."

“Quality affordable housing and local ownership are the backbone of a stable community,” said Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader, Enterprise. “Land trusts help protect and preserve homes so they remain affordable over the long term. Through these grants, Enterprise will empower counties and municipalities statewide to make their communities safer, healthier, and more affordable for years to come.”

"We as a City and as elected officials have an opportunity and responsibility to preserve affordability and to harness every resource at our disposal to facilitate affordable housing development," said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "The East Harlem/El Barrio community land trust was identified as a priority through the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan planning process and this funding will empower residents by providing them with community control over land. I want to thank HPD and Enterprise Community Partners for their investment and making a difference in the lives of everyday New Yorkers. "

“Today’s grant announcement is a victory for our local communities who are normally left without any tools to prevent speculation in their neighborhoods,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “Our coalitions of local nonprofits know and appreciate the needs of our communities and how important affordable homeownership opportunities are to working families. I’d like to thank Deputy Mayor Glen, Commissioner Torres-Springer, Attorney General Schneiderman, and all of the nonprofits who have banded together to lift up our residents and stand up to the big banks looking to profit off of our land. We look forward to continuing to work with all of our partners to increase community land trust opportunities across New York City.”

"I thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Torres-Springer for continuing to support community-led models for affordable housing," said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. "HPD's new grant will help the Cooper Square Community Land Trust to create even more affordable housing in the Lower East Side, and grow the capacity of community organizations like CAAAV. I look forward to seeing more community-led models emerge that give every day New Yorkers a seat at the table to ensure that our City remains affordable for all." 

One of the selected CLTs includes a group of local organizations focused on affordable homeownership, which has the potential to facilitate long-term affordability and resilient land management in Edgemere and other neighborhoods.  This will help advance one of the goals of the Resilient Edgemere Community Plan, which was to identify City-owned sites in the neighborhood that could be developed by a CLT. 

HPD applied to Enterprise to fund New York City organizations with proposals to support the formation and expansion of CLTs across the City that would serve a variety of geographies and communities.

Awardees include:

Interboro CLT, a partnership of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods, the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), the Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY), and Habitat for Humanity, seeks to strengthen communities through the development and stewardship of affordable homeownership for low-income households in southeast Queens, Edgemere, and central Brooklyn, with a long-term goal to expand citywide.

Cooper Square CLT, the only existing CLT in New York City, which has been the land steward of a low-income mutual housing association on the Lower East Side for over 20 years, and is looking to expand its portfolio to acquire and develop distressed buildings.

East Harlem / El Barrio CLT is working with affordable housing developer Banana Kelly to acquire and rehabilitate a group of buildings for low-income rental housing in East Harlem that would be owned and operated as a CLT.

The New York City Community Land Initiative, in partnership with the New Economy Project, will administer a CLT Learning Exchange designed to build the capacity of community-based organizations and affordable housing developers seeking to form CLTs. The program will provide foundational training in forming a CLT and more targeted technical assistance for groups at various stages of the CLT process.  Organizations participating in the Learning Exchange will include:

 

Name of Organization

Geography

1

CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities

Manhattan (Chinatown)

2

Community Solutions

Brooklyn (Brownsville)

3

Cypress Hills LDC

Brooklyn (Cypress Hills and East New York)

4

Mary Mitchell Center

Bronx (Crotona)

5

Mott Haven-Port Morris Comm. Land Stewards

Bronx (Mott Haven and Port Morris)

6

Faith in New York

Manhattan (Inwood)

7

Northfield Community LDC

Staten Island (North Shore)

8

Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition

Bronx (Northwest)

9

We Stay/ Nos Quedamos

Bronx (South)

“Community Land Trusts are proven vehicles for preserving affordable housing and committing land to serve the needs of the neighborhood. As we struggle to combat displacement in vulnerable communities, this tool has been used throughout the country and in my own borough to target housing to low and moderate income families,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Alongside the work of many of our neighborhood-based nonprofit developers, this democratic framework for rehabilitation and development is the way forward for inclusive community planning. I applaud the City for moving to embrace and support this model.”

“The community land trust model is an innovative vehicle for advancing permanently affordable homeownership for New Yorkers who would otherwise be priced out of the market,” said Christie Peale, Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. “The Interboro CLT partners are grateful to HPD and Enterprise Community Partners for this timely financial assistance, which will allow us to build a foundation for new homeownership opportunities. We are also thankful to Citi Community Development for its support of the partnership between the Center, Habitat for Humanity New York City, Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY), and the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board.”

 “This funding is fruit from the struggle of the community land trust movement” said Tom Angotti, board chair of the Cooper Square Community Land Trust.  “We are grateful for this opportunity from HPD, Enterprise Foundation and the Attorney General’s office to expand a successful model for housing that is truly and permanently affordable to low-income residents of the Lower East Side.  We are excited to work with other communities to develop land trusts that not only preserve housing but also serve as a bulwark against displacement and provide a framework by which the priorities of longtime neighborhood residents can be realized.” 

"We are excited to join our partners at the Interboro Community Land Trust to express our gratitude to HPD and Enterprise Community Partners for helping fund this innovative initiative for permanent affordable homeownership in New York City. The CLT model will ensure that future Habitat NYC homes remain affordable for lower-income New Yorkers in perpetuity, and help preserve communities for generations to come," said Karen Haycox, CEO of Habitat for Humanity New York City.

"The Community Land Trust (CLT) model helps communities reclaim their most valuable land assets while providing much-needed stewardship and oversight to guide their long-term investment,” said Rosanne Haggerty, CEO and President of Community Solutions. "We applaud HPD and Enterprise for their focus on community mobilization and for building infrastructure to support collective problem solving around Brownsville’s most pressing and complex challenges." 

“The Mary Mitchell Center is excited to be part of this initiative,” said Heidi Hynes of the Mary Mitchell Center. “Community control of land and development in the Crotona section of the Bronx can ensure that concentrated poverty is redressed in a way that retains affordability while increasing services and resources.  HPD and Enterprise will provide critical assistance for us to implement the Crotona Land Trust which is an innovative approach to social and economic development.  We are interested in creating the proverbial tide that lifts all ships not in having our neighborhood sold to the highest bidder."

"We’ve been reassured with the belief that community is the answer to empower and to create opportunities for those too often left behind,” said Mychal Johnson, member of the Board of Directors of the Mott Haven-Port Morris Community Land Stewards.  “Thanks to Enterprise, the De Blasio administration and HPD for taking steps to strengthen local capacity and ensure local involvement and community ownership in public land.” 

Melanie Wang, Chinatown Tenants Union organizer said, “Gentrification and the ongoing loss of affordable housing create a profound destabilizing impact on the working-class, immigrant communities of color that have long resided in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Through a CLT, our community will be able to use land that has long remained vacant or buildings owned by or taken over by the city to create long-term, stable, and truly affordable housing for those most impacted by gentrification. For that reason, we are proud and excited to partner with existing CLTs, HPD, Enterprise, and community organizations across the city in this multifaceted endeavor to pursue housing solutions that put our communities first.”

“In the hyper-speculative residential real estate markets that the city’s neighborhoods have become, it is gratifying to see our partners at Enterprise and HPD putting resources towards locally-developed, locally controlled CLT initiatives that will add enhanced protections for the permanent affordability of our public and social sector land and housing,” said Banana Kelly President Harold DeRienzo

Lynn Lewis from the East Harlem El Barrio CLT said, “Community Land Trusts and Mutual Housing Associations are a proven way to preserve and create new units of permanent and truly affordable housing that includes extremely low income and homeless households.  The E Harlem/El Barrio CLT is proud to play our part to stabilize our community and to demonstrate that there are solutions to the housing crisis.” 

HPD is looking to use all of the available tools to confront the affordable housing crisis and achieve the goals of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan.  In January, HPD issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to identify qualified groups interested in forming CLTs.  In releasing the RFEI, HPD sought to better understand how CLTs could serve as a tool for affordable housing under the Housing New York plan, and improve upon, or fill gaps in, the City’s already extensive affordable housing programs.

 There are currently many different models of CLTs in use across the country, and the agency received a robust set of responses from different organizations, communities, and individuals suggesting various types of proposals for CLTs.  The agency applied to Enterprise for funds to support organizations that will provide training on CLT formation and to CLTs that are ready to pursue development projects that further the goals of Housing New York.  At the same time, HPD will continue to dispose of development sites through an open, competitive RFP process, and welcomes CLTs to respond to future RFPs.

Over the next 24 months, grants will fund operations and start-up support as well as capital projects. HPD will work closely with awardees and continue to support the potential for CLT growth in New York City.

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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.