Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2013
Contact:, (212) 306-3322

NYCHA Reports on Submissions for Development on Public Housing Property

The first step in NYCHA’s Land Lease Initiative

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) today released details of submissions from developers in response to its August 18 Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for its Land Lease Initiative. The RFEI invited developers to submit proposals for the design, construction and operation of mixed-income rental housing – with retail, commercial or community facility space, where required. Responses were received on November 18 and continue to be reviewed by a selection committee composed of NYCHA staff from different departments. The Land Lease initiative would provide for the future capital needs of the public housing at the six developments and, in the future, for other NYCHA developments. NYCHA and the City are pleased that several well-capitalized and experienced New York City residential builders delivered proposals that both meet the Authority’s stated financial objectives, and aspire to enhance our public housing developments and neighborhoods with well-conceived and well-designed plans.

“We were especially appreciative of the guidance and support that NYCHA received from HUD and HUD Secretary Donovan who recognized that the successful completion of the Land Lease Initiative would benefit NYCHA’s residents, neighbors and New York City by improving the quality of our existing housing stock and ensuring its preservation,“ said NYCHA Chairman John Rhea. “The initiative also would provide critically-needed rental housing for NYCHA residents and New York City working families, including permanently-affordable homes, and would create substantial new construction and permanent job opportunities.”

Developers offered proposals for 11 of the 14 sites, at 6 of the 8 participating NYCHA developments. Taking the highest financial offer at each site, ground rent payments to NYCHA would average $37 million per year (in the aggregate). This money would be sufficient, based on financial projections, to finance the $700 to $900 million required for full exterior and interior upgrade and restoration of the more than 9,000 NYCHA homes located on the six sites. About 3,600 new rental apartments would be built, including 720 that would be permanently affordable, including affordability for NYCHA residents.

“The quality of the proposals was especially gratifying,” said Fred Harris, NYCHA’s Executive Vice President for Real Estate Development. “NYCHA added the requirement that developers would now participate in the ULURP process (involving greater community input) on five of the six campuses, as they add commercial facilities to each of the sites.”

NYCHA and the City do not expect to move to a conditional designation on any of the sites prior the end of 2013 and will release additional details at a later date. Along with the next administration and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), NYCHA will have a strong foundation from which to pursue this avenue for funding critically needed investment in New York City’s aging public housing infrastructure.