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Mayor de Blasio Announces Major Renovations for 2,400 NYCHA Apartments

June 25, 2018

Innovative public private partnership will generate $400 million for critically needed repairs without raising rent

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today a commitment from the New York City Housing Authority to renovate nearly 2,400 apartments across 21 public housing developments in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The $400 million in upgrades will be made possible through the HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program, which converts apartments’ funding to the Section 8 program. These homes will be permanently affordable and maintained by quality private property managers. The 5,300 residents at these developments will retain all their rights as public housing residents, continue to be charged their current rent, and remain in their buildings during the renovations, which will include new kitchens and bathrooms; replacing windows, elevators, boilers and roofs; and improved common areas. NYCHA will begin selecting development teams for the construction and management work this fall, with renovations on the first buildings beginning in 2019.

NYCHA also announced new private management and construction teams to oversee $80+ million in renovations for 700 NYCHA apartments with 1,000 residents at Baychester and Murphy Houses in the Bronx. These developments have had no consistent funding stream since the State of New York divested them in 1998. Using a program similar to RAD, they are also being converted to NYCHA’s Section 8 program to raise funds, complete badly needed repairs, and efficiently oversee day-to-day operations. The renovations on these units will begin this fall.  This conversion prevents these unfunded units from falling into complete disrepair and protects their affordability along with residents’ rights. These RAD and unfunded renovations will all be complete by 2023.

The Mayor made today’s announcement at Campos Plaza I, a 875-apartment complex on the Lower East Side that recently underwent renovations under the Section 8 model, with drastic improvements in the health, safety and quality of residents’ homes.

“All New Yorkers deserve to live in safe and decent housing, which is why we’ve been investing in NYCHA since the first day of my Administration to reverse the decades of neglect,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The City is leveraging every tool available to deliver critically needed repairs without raising the rent. We will never stop fighting to improve the quality of life for NYCHA residents.”

“As we strive to preserve public and affordable housing for future generations, RAD is one of the clear paths forward to get residents the repairs they need while keeping them in their homes despite the federal government continuing to cut back its public housing support,” said NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Stanley Brezenoff. “Through public-private partnerships, millions of dollars will be brought to these homes, improving resident quality of life and guaranteeing they stay affordable.”

“Our commitment to improving conditions for NYCHA residents calls for innovative approaches exemplified by these public-private partnerships, which allow us to resolve decades of deferred maintenance in thousands of units, while keeping rents affordable,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.

RAD is an innovative tool from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that lets public housing authorities permanently preserve public housing developments as affordable homes and make necessary repairs. In New York City, RAD includes collaboration between the Authority, NYCHA residents, development partners, and community and housing advocates, and it is a key part of Next Generation NYCHA, the Authority’s long term strategic plan to create financial stability and improve residents’ lives. 

NYCHA will begin resident engagement this summer at the 21 developments across Manhattan and Brooklyn:

Manhattan sites: 
·         335 East 111th Street
·         Manhattanville Rehab (Group 2)
·         Manhattanville Rehab (Group 3)
·         Park Avenue-East 122nd, 123rd Streets
·         Public School 139 (Conversion)
·         Samuel (MHOP) I
·         Samuel (MHOP) II
·         Samuel (MHOP) III
·         Washington Heights Rehab (Groups 1&2)
·         Washington Heights Rehab Phase III
·         Washington Heights Rehab Phase IV (C)
·         Washington Heights Rehab Phase IV (D)
·         Fort Washington Avenue Rehab
·         Grampion

Brooklyn sites: 
·         Armstrong I
·         Armstrong II
·         572 Warren Street
·         Berry Street-South 9th Street
·         Marcy Avenue-Greene Avenue Site A
·         Marcy Avenue-Greene Avenue Site B
·         Weeksville Gardens

New York City is using innovative strategies to generate revenue for repairs in public housing. With today's announcement, there are currently nearly 8,900 NYCHA RAD and unfunded apartments in resident engagement, predevelopment, or development for comprehensive capital repairs, and the City is on track to complete all 20,000 apartments by 2025. In the Next Generation NYCHA plan, the City committed to renovating 15,000 apartments through RAD and that all 5,000 unsubsidized apartments receive subsidy by 2025.  The 1,400 apartments at Ocean Bay have completely new interiors, hydronic boilers on every roof, and upgraded elevators with RAD. In addition to the 2,400 RAD units being announced today, there are 3,100 RAD apartments in predevelopment.  In addition to the 700 apartments at Baychester and Murphy, NYCHA has started resident engagement on 1,300 additional unfunded units.  

For Baychester and Murphy, NYCHA will partner with MBD Community Housing Corporation, Camber Property Group, and L+M Development Partners. This development team was chosen based on their experience and capacity for both development and property management, their financial proposal, and the quality of their proposed rehabilitation scope of work. The development team will partner with BronxWorks to provide tailored social services to the residents. The development partner will begin making repairs as early as 2019. Residents will play a major role in finalizing the rehab scope for their developments, including kitchen and bathroom upgrades in every apartment, replacing the existing boilers, and improvements to common areas, outdoor spaces, and community centers to create a stronger sense of pride and belonging among residents. All repairs will be done while keeping the residents in place.

"As NYCHA continues to move forward amid funding challenges and major long- and short-term capital needs, the RAD public-private partnership has demonstrated that it can significantly enhance tenants' quality of life and help lead NYCHA into the future," said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly's Housing Committee. "I look forward to the next round of NYCHA developments that will benefit from the RAD program."

“Residents are long overdue for funding and attention to some of the most critical needs causing the most serious of problems in their homes. RAD, which was implemented by President Obama in 2011, thoroughly addresses those needs through renovations and residents will now have homes they can be proud of. Having personally seen renovated RAD apartments and having in depth conversations concerning preservation of resident rights and permanence of affordability, I am happy to see increased funding and expansion of RAD in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx,” said Chair of the Council Committee on Public Housing Alicka Ampry Samuel.

Council Member Robert Cornegy said:  "NYCHA developments throughout this city have suffered from a lack of funding for capital improvements for too long. With the funding available through the RAD program, more New Yorkers living in public housing will benefit from the improvements they have been waiting for, all while the affordability and public ownership of their apartments is preserved. This is the kind of innovation critical to the long-term sustainability and maintenance of this city's housing stock.”

Council Member Diana Ayala said, “Public housing residents are enduring harsh living conditions because of historic disinvestment from the federal government. The Rental Assistance Demonstration program seeks to mitigate this trajectory by providing residents with repaired, renovated, and affordable homes. I am pleased to learn that a NYCHA building in my district will be entering the RAD program, as I have advocated for the tenants of that buildings for years. RAD exemplifies the strength behind public-private partnerships and will be instrumental in preserving our City’s affordable housing stock.”

“With RAD’s infusion of private investment, living conditions will dramatically improve for residents, who will finally be getting the building renovations they have long deserved. RAD is an important part of the solution to restoring public housing,” said Rachel Fee, Executive Director of the New York Housing Conference.

“Innovative public-private partnerships, like those enabled through RAD, are a vital resource for the city as it works to provide residents with quality affordable homes,” said Judi Kende, Vice President and New York Market Leader at Enterprise Community Partners. “This new expansion of RAD will bring in capital and ensure that 2,400 additional households benefit from comprehensive upgrades. Enterprise was proud to work alongside NYCHA staff, residents and community-based and advocacy organizations to develop guiding principles, which ensure that resident rights are protected during and after renovation.”

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