FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
CONTACT: Matthew Creegan, 212-863-7879
HPD ANNOUNCES MILESTONES IN ITS EFFORTS TO KEEP THE BRONX AFFORDABLE
Housing New York has preserved affordability on over 4,500 homes in the Southwest Bronx since 2014.
1 in 10 units preserved in NYC overall are located in the Southwest Bronx.
Under HNY, the Administration has financed the preservation of 4,527 affordable homes in
Community Districts 4 and 5, representing over $800 million of public and private investments in the area’s housing stock.
NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer announces that the preservation of affordable units in the Jerome Avenue Corridor of the Bronx is at its highest level in over 25 years, with nearly one in 10 homes preserved under Housing New York in the Southwest Bronx, or Community Boards 4 and 5. The high level of preservation activity – combined with the various programs, initiatives and commitments to community stakeholders and local elected officials – is an early demonstration of delivering on the commitments made in the City’s multifaceted Jerome Avenue Neighborhood Plan, and furthers HPD’s efforts to keep the Bronx affordable for generations to come.
As a part of the City’s commitment to neighborhood engagement, HPD is piloting a number of new ways to reach property owners across the city, and has an extensive outreach strategy for reaching owners in Community Boards 4 and 5 who need help making repairs and preserving affordability for existing tenants. To further these efforts, HPD is partnering with Councilmembers Vanessa Gibson and Fernando Cabrera to host a Property Owner Clinic on November 14th, where property owners can speak with HPD finance specialists, as well as representatives from the Department of Finance, Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Buildings for assistance. The clinic will be hosted at Apple Bank’s 101 E. 170th Street branch location from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM.
“We are fully committed to preserving affordability whenever and wherever possible, and in communities where families need it most, we go beyond preserving infrastructure and freezing rents. The diverse suite of programming and resources HPD provides for property owners and residents to help them maintain their homes and strengthen their communities is a critical component of keeping the Bronx affordable,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank my colleagues at HPD and our many partners for their continued work to stabilize neighborhoods and safeguard affordability for families for generations to come.”
“Preservation is an essential part of sound land use planning, so we appreciate HPD’s focus on preserving affordable units in the Jerome Avenue corridor. Whenever we work on a comprehensive neighborhood plan, we aim not just to create new affordable units, but also to keep families in the apartments that exist today. Each unit that is preserved is a home for people who care deeply about their neighborhood fabric,” said City Planning Director Marisa Lago. “These preserved units, combined with new affordable housing, anti-displacement measures, economic opportunities and infrastructure improvements, will lead to a Jerome Avenue with a bright and dynamic future for residents and workers alike.”
“Housing preservation is the cornerstone of truly affordable neighborhoods. Any plans to improve the West Bronx will ultimately fail if the people who have always lived here do not benefit from the Neighborhood plan, or worse, become priced out. The preservation work we have done in Community Boards 4 and 5 – freezing rents while making important capital investments – will help stabilize and uplift families’ quality of life while keeping them in the community that they helped to build. I am excited that, to date, we have already preserved more units than we expect to build through the Jerome Neighborhood Plan and I look forward to continuing my partnership with HPD to keep the Bronx affordable,” said New York City Council Member Vanessa Gibson. “Housing preservation is a key component in any Neighborhood Plan that recognizes the value of maintaining affordable housing for families on fixed incomes and I thank Mayor de Blasio and HPD Commissioner Maria Springer Torres for their leadership and their commitment to building and preserving affordable housing at all levels, for all New Yorkers.”
The Mayor’s Housing New York plan has financed the preservation of over 52,600 homes citywide, 14,500 of which in the Bronx alone. Bronx Community Boards 4 and 5 have seen more than 4,500 preservation closings through fiscal year 2017, accounting for about one-third of all HPD preservation work in the borough. This represents over $800 million of public and private investments in the area’s housing stock. Community Board 4 in the South Bronx is one of the top five districts for preservation under Housing New York citywide.
Earlier this year, the City extended affordability and financed rehabilitation work for Dreamyard, a 301-unit affordable housing project in the University Heights and Morris Heights neighborhoods of the Bronx. The Dreamyard portfolio includes twelve buildings across two clusters: University Avenue LP and 168th Street Development LP, which were acquired by Bronx Pro from the City in 1999 through the Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program, which enabled neighborhood-based private property managers to own and manage clusters of occupied and vacant City-owned buildings. The properties, which receive Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, were nearing “year 15” -- the end of their initial compliance period, at which point, the agency works with the owner to evaluate the financial and capital needs of the project and develop a strategy to extend affordability and finance any necessary rehabilitation work. The extended affordability and additional City financing will fund roof work, window and door replacements, façade repair, kitchen, and bathroom improvements as needed, common area energy efficient light fixture upgrades, and replacement of existing heating systems. This project received approximately $12.5 million in City subsidy.
HPD’s efforts to preserve affordability in the Bronx are further supported by the Landlord Ambassadors Program. Launched in summer 2017 as a partnership between HPD and Enterprise Community Partners, the Landlord Ambassadors program aims to stabilize the physical and financial health of multifamily buildings by helping owners take advantage of HPD’s financing programs. Nonprofit organizations are contracted to provide technical assistance to building owners, and the Northwest Bronx Community Coalition has been selected to serve the South and Central Bronx, including the Jerome Avenue area. The Landlord Ambassadors also assist multifamily property owners on the city’s tax lien docket.
The Jerome Avenue Neighborhood Plan, which is currently under public review, concentrates the City’s efforts along the Jerome Avenue Corridor to explore a wide range of strategies and investment opportunities that improve the corridor’s infrastructure, further neighborhood stabilization, and encourage productive growth to meet the communities’ growing needs in housing and economic opportunity.
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.