For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 29, 2018
Contact: Matthew Creegan (HPD), 212-863-7879
Valeria Munt (NYCHA), 212-456-6241
City Congratulates Former NYCHA Residents Turned First-Time Homeowners
Through the Small Homes Rehabilitation Program, NYCHA and HPD partner with not-for-profit organizations to rehabilitate NYCHA-owned 1-4 family homes to create affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income New Yorkers
NYCHA residents interested in the program receive homeownership training and may be eligible for a Homeownership Award
(Jamaica) Queens, NY – The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) celebrate the Ogbeni family, first-time homebuyers who have purchased a new home through the Small Homes Rehab-NYCHA Program. The Ogbeni family is being provided a homeownership opportunity through the Small Homes Rehab-NYCHA Program. This program will help approximately 100 families become homeowners in total. This home was rehabilitated as part of a multi-home project that received funding from HPD, JP Morgan Chase, and the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation.
The Small Homes Rehab -NYCHA Program develops vacant NYCHA-owned 1-4 family residential properties located throughout New York City into viable affordable homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income homebuyers.
“Creating more paths to homeownership is critical to addressing the affordable housing crisis in this city and ensuring more New Yorkers can achieve the American dream. Through this initiative, we’re breathing new life into these small homes and stabilizing the surrounding communities,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I’d like to thank our colleagues at NYCHA as well as our partners at Neighborhood Restore and Habitat for Humanity NYC for their commitment to transforming the lives of former NYCHA residents and other hardworking New Yorkers."
“The partnership between NYCHA, HPD, the Fund for Public Housing and nonprofit organizations such as Restored Homes and Habitat for Humanity NYC, has created affordable homeownership opportunities for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, including former NYCHA residents, helping them reach such an important life milestone,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye.
“I applaud NYCHA, the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation, and JP Morgan for taking steps to ensure that distressed properties in New York remain in the housing market. I have long pushed federal housing agencies to prioritize selling their distressed properties to local governments and community-focused nonprofits that share my vision of preserving homeownership. The City’s efforts – on both the local and federal levels – will ensure that our homes are not merely sold to the highest paying private equity firm or corporate landlord. Instead, these homes will be available for first time homebuyers, including our young families that struggle with unprecedented economic pressures, which includes massive student loan debt. I look forward to continuing my partnership with NYCHA and other elected officials as we push federal housing agencies to do the right thing and create greater opportunities for individuals to build wealth through ownership,” said Congressmember Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY).
“Owning my home feels like having a piece of the pie. My homeownership experience taught me to dream big and persevere. It seemed unattainable at first, but with the right partners and guidance, it can happen. I want to thank NYCHA, HPD, Restored Homes, the Fund for Public Housing and Impacct Brooklyn for making this dream a reality,” said Charline Ogbeni, former NYCHA resident and new homeowner.
The properties were acquired from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). All of these homes were previously foreclosed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and have stood vacant for many years; a number of these homes have been vacant for 20 years. The highest concentrations of the homes are in Queens and Brooklyn, in neighborhoods that have seen high foreclosure rates.
“The Fund for Public Housing is dedicated to helping improve the quality of life of public housing residents, and that includes supporting them as they achieve their homeownership goals through the completion of JPMorgan Chase's pre-homebuyer workshops,” said Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, President of the Fund for Public Housing. “Our goal is to help these former NYCHA families succeed as new homeowners by providing them with the necessary tools to help them navigate this challenging but gratifying experience."
These homes undergo gut renovation by a non-profit developer with funding from HPD, private banks, and the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation. Rehabilitation design plans incorporate Enterprise Green Communities guidelines. Qualified homebuyers will have a 20-year owner-occupancy requirement and receive significant property tax reductions due to an Urban Development Action Area Project (UDAAP) tax exemption.
“We are proud to be a key player in transforming these vacant and abandoned properties into affordable homes for low and moderate income New Yorkers. The rehabilitation of these homes has not only made the dream of homeownership a reality to many former NYCHA residents but has contributed in stabilizing neighborhoods still experiencing the effects of the 2008 financial crisis. We are thankful to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation and JPMorgan Chase for providing the necessary financing to convert these distressed properties into affordable community assets,” said Executive Director of Neighborhood Restore Housing Development Fund Corporation Salvatore D’Avola.
“At Habitat NYC, we believe that homeownership provides the foundation for strength, stability and self- reliance. And we’re especially proud to provide this opportunity for homeownership to NYCHA residents for the future,” said Karen Haycox, CEO of Habitat for Humanity New York City. “We’re also grateful to be working with generous partners including HPD, the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation and others on these exciting projects.”
To date, the City has financed the rehabilitation of over 70 homes and, in total, 13 NYCHA residents are expected to successfully close on single-family homes. The City partners with non-profit developers to assist in the renovation work. The next round of rehabilitation work was recently designated to Habitat for Humanity and Restored Homes Housing Development Fund Corporation, an affiliate of Neighborhood Restore Housing Development Fund Corporation.
NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability (REES) facilitates access to homeownership education and mortgage-readiness workshops for NYCHA residents interested in applying for these homeownership opportunities. This is done in collaboration with HUD-certified homebuyer education partners.
In addition, the Fund for Public Housing, a non-profit organization founded to bring resources to public housing communities, provides Homeownership Awards to former NYCHA residents/new homeowners who have completed the NYCHA-hosted JPMorgan Chase Pre-Homebuyer workshop series.
To learn more about the program please visit NYCHA’s webpage. Qualified prospective homebuyers can submit applications to some of these homes through the City’s lottery system.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA): NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Almost 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 325 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA and www.twitter.com/NYCHA.
About the Fund for Public Housing: Never before has there been an organization that exists solely to address the priorities of New York City public housing communities. The Fund for Public Housing is an independent not-for-profit organization that invests in the well-being of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents and their communities. The Fund collaborates with public and private partners to reimagine and improve the way public housing works. For more information, visit www.fundforpublichousing.org or follow the Fund on Twitter, www.twitter.com/Fund4PH