For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 13, 2019
Contact: General HPD Press Contact, hpdmedia@hpd.nyc.gov

  

City Launches Working Group to Review and Modernize the Third Party Transfer Program

De Blasio administration convenes elected officials, nonprofits, advocates, and community stakeholders to recommend changes to this 23-year-old program designed as an alternative to the tax lien sale


NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced a working group to reboot the City’s Third Party Transfer Program (TPT), a decades old tax enforcement program that conveys ownership of properties with significant tax arrears, and in many cases, hazardous violations, to qualified mission-driven and nonprofit affordable housing developers. This measure is taken only as a last resort if the owners do not pay their outstanding tax arrears or enter into and maintain a payment plan. Unlike in a traditional foreclosure, TPT ensures that all residents remain in their homes with affordability and rent stabilization protections. The Working Group – which includes tenant advocacy groups, community-based housing organizations, legal service providers and elected officials – will be charged with developing recommendations to modify the program to address key concerns identified by stakeholders and make sure it effectively targets the most distressed tax delinquent properties.

The Working Group will be co-chaired by HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll and City Council Housing and Buildings Committee Chair Robert Cornegy and include representatives from the NYC Departments of Environmental Protection, Finance, Law and the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants, as well as City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, New York City Assembly Member Tremaine Wright, and advocates.

“Since its inception, TPT has played a crucial role in providing stability for nearly 15,000 New Yorkers.  In addition to being an effective tax enforcement program, TPT has become a critical tool for protecting tenants, and is one that we can’t afford to lose in the midst of a dire affordability crisis,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I want to thank Councilmember Cornegy for his leadership and look forward to partnering with the working group to fine tune this program and our processes to ensure we are doing everything we can to help owners and protect tenants.”

“Promoting and preserving homeownership, particularly in black and brown communities, is very important to me, which is why I look forward to co-chairing this very important Working Group with Commissioner Louise Carroll. We must assess and reconcile with the impact of the Third Party Transfer program, while working together to modernize it,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr., Chair of Housing and Buildings Committee.

TPT was launched in 1996 as an enforcement measure to recoup unpaid taxes, stabilize properties and protect tenants. Since TPT’s inception in 1996, more than 6,000 homes in approximately 520 buildings have been rehabilitated, resulting in improved housing quality and greater stability for approximately 15,000 residents. The program focuses on the most extreme cases, the 62 properties transferred in the most recent round of TPT in 2018 and early 2019 owed an average of more than $800,000, putting them in the top 0.02 percent of properties that owe back taxes and fees to the City. The goal of the program is to put properties on track to address issues and exit the round before the point of transfer, which the vast majority of properties were successful in doing. More than 80 percent of the 420 properties included in the last TPT round were removed from the foreclosure action.

“I am honored to participate in the City’s TPT Working Group. Neighborhood Restore has been the steward of TPT properties since 1999 and has overseen the successful transition of hundreds of distressed and abandoned properties to responsible mission-driven owners,” said Executive Director of Neighborhood Restore HDFC Salvatore D’Avola. “TPT has been essential in creating and preserving affordable housing for thousands of low-income families throughout New York City. I welcome the opportunity to engage with a diverse group of stakeholders to further ensure that tenants’ homes are safe and affordable.”

“TPT has been an essential resource for the city for 25 years, and I am honored to help modernize a program that supports tenants living in substandard buildings owned by landlords who aren’t investing in necessary repairs that keep families safe and healthy and who aren't paying taxes,” said Judi Kende, Vice President and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “The need for TPT remains strong, but its execution must adapt in response to changes in the real estate market and look to proactively support responsible owners. I look forward to working alongside advocates, elected officials, and agency leaders to recommend solutions that will ensure the program can continue fairly and effectively.” 

“MBD Community Housing Corp. is pleased to work with NYC HPD in the Third Party Transfer Program to help reposition troubled properties in order to provide residents with safe, clean, and affordable housing in the community,” said President and CEO of MBD Community Housing Corp. Derrick Lovett.  

The working group’s recommendations will be submitted by the Fall of 2019 and will be used to craft new legislation to modify the scope of the program.

The full list of working group participants:

  • Co-Chair: Louise Carroll, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development  
  • Co-Chair: Council Member Robert Cornegy, Jr., Chair of Housing and Buildings Committee of the New York City Council
  • Related City of New York agencies
  • New York State Assemblymember Tremaine Wright
  • Salvatore D'Avola, Executive Director of Neighborhood Restore
  • Bernell Grier, Executive Director of IMPACCT Brooklyn
  • Judi Kende, Vice President and New York Market Leader of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
  • Ismene Speliotis, Executive Director of Mutual Housing Association of New York Management, Inc.
  • Emilio Dorcely, President and CEO of Bridge Street Development Corporation
  • Chris Bramwell, Vice Chairman of Shinda Management Corporation (M/WBE)
  • Sandra Erickson, President of Sandra Erickson Real Estate Inc. (M/WBE)
  • Susan Ifill, Chief Executive Officer of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City
  • Christie Peale, Chief Executive Office and Executive Director of the Center for New York City Neighborhoods
  • Harold Shultz, Principal of Benavi Advisors, LLC
  • Derrick Lovett, Building Owner and President and Chief Executive Officer of MBD Community Housing Corp.
  • Eva Alligood, Interim Executive Director of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation New York City
  • Sandra Lobo, Executive Director of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition
  • Michael Grinthal, Supervising Attorney in the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center

Under the Mayor’s Housing New York plan, the City has financed nearly 23,000 affordable homeownership opportunities, and created new programs to assist owners better manage their properties, such as Landlord Ambassadors which offers technical assistance and emergency loans to small building owners; the Homeowner HelpDesk to assist with foreclosure prevention, guidance on scam avoidance, and advice on home repair and other programs like weatherization loans. The City will also launch HomeFix, which will provide low-cost loans to struggling homeowners.

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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 Plan which was recently expanded and accelerated through Housing New York 2.0 to complete the initial goal of 200,000 homes two years ahead of schedule—by 2022, and achieve an additional 100,000 homes over the following four years, for a total of 300,000 homes by 2026.  For full details visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.