FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, September 29, 2017
CONTACT: Juliet Pierre-Antoine (HPD), 212-863-5682
HPD ANNOUNCES RESILIENCY WORK IN KNICKERBOCKER VILLAGE, A 1500 UNIT DEVELOPMENT ON LOWER EAST SIDE OF MANHATTAN
After sustaining significant storm damage from Superstorm Sandy, Knickerbocker Village will now be able to safely weather future storms
NEW YORK, NY – Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer announces the $33.5 million grant through HPD’s Build it Back Multifamily Storm Recovery and Resiliency Program that will be put toward sustainable and resilient infrastructure improvements for Knickerbocker Village, a Lower East Side development that suffered significant damage from Hurricane Sandy. HPD is working directly with Knickerbocker Village as they invest in resiliency projects, and has allocated a portion of the grant – $2.1 million – to reimburse the development for the repair work completed after Hurricane Sandy.
“HPD will continue to provide the critical assistance needed to make resiliency improvements that will leave New Yorkers feeling secure in their homes,” said Housing and Preservation Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank the residents of Knickerbocker Village as well as our many partners and elected officials that are committed to rebuilding and working toward a stronger New York City.”
“The 7th congressional district encompasses areas of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn that were devastated by Superstorm Sandy. The hurricane destroyed the homes for many families, and this community came together to help each other survive. It is critically important that residents of the impacted communities enjoy safety and security in their homes,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. “We are pleased that federal and local collaboration has resulted in critical funding for the Knickerbocker Village community. Our buildings and infrastructure should be as strong and resilient as the people of New York City.”
“Knickerbocker Village has played an important role in the overall Lower East Side community for more than 80 years. I saw firsthand the devastation Hurricane Sandy caused to not only this apartment complex but to this community overall,” said Councilmember Margaret Chin. “We are grateful for the partnership with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development for providing much-needed funds to help fortify Knickerbocker Village for the next 80 years. This investment will provide a great measure of stability for the hard-working families and seniors that call Knickerbocker Village home.”
“Knickerbocker Village is comprised of hard-working New York families, many of them immigrants pursuing the American Dream. It is critical that they be able to count on the strength of their community and find safety and security in their homes,” said Executive Director of Cherry Green Property Corporation Daniel Robinson. “We're very grateful to HPD, Congresswoman Velazquez and all of the officials here today for helping us secure this grant and for supporting our families."
Knickerbocker Village was constructed in 1934 and is comprised of a dozen twelve-story buildings with a total of 1,590 apartments, primarily serving low-income households. The complex of buildings was heavily damaged during Sandy. Surge waters flooded the interconnected basement level to an average depth of 70 inches, and shared boiler room which is located three floors below basement level saw almost 20 feet of flooding. This flooding completely disabled the complex’s electrical and elevator systems, and caused a 20,000 gallon heating oil tank to float and rip away its piping. Nearly two weeks of pumping was required before the entire boiler room was emptied.
"Affordable housing is the most critical issue facing New York City. It's imperative that we take every opportunity to preserve and protect our existing housing options," said Public Advocate Letitia James. "This grant will ensure that over 1,500 families have safe and decent places to live, and help to build the resilience of Knickerbocker Village against storms and other extreme weather conditions, conserving the complex for future generations. This is exactly the kind of preservation that New York needs."
“The funding announced today will help increase resiliency at Knickerbocker Village," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "With the likelihood of major storms increasing, this work will help protect thousands of New Yorkers' homes from disruption, and proves the city's commitment to sustainability. I thank the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development for recognizing the need and beginning this work.”
“I applaud Knickerbocker Village and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development for the resiliency grant announced today,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. “This is a critical moment for New York as we continue to build a stronger, more sustainable city for the millions of people who call New York City home.”
“Knickerbocker Village houses hundreds of working class families and seniors, and it is critical that we protect them from future natural disasters,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou. “Today’s announcement is a big boost for Knickerbocker and the Lower East Side community, and I commend everyone who pushed to increase resiliency at this historic complex. With these funds, Knickerbocker will receive multiple emergency generators, improved electric lines, and watertight infrastructure across the development. Thank you to HPD, my colleagues and the tenant leaders who pushed for Knickerbocker’s safety, and I look forward to partnering with the community to push for resiliency resources for lower Manhattan.”
Resiliency improvements at Knickerbocker Village include both structural and electrical enhancements on the interior and exterior of the buildings. The scope of work also includes resiliency items to ensure the continuity of the electrical system in the case of a power failure.
The Build it Back Multifamily Loan Program is designed to assist owners of properties with multiple apartments that were affected by Hurricane Sandy by rehabilitating buildings and identifying opportunities for resiliency improvements.