Press Release

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NYCHA & HPD seeking a more diverse pool of developers to help create more affordable housing options for New Yorkers

NEW YORK— The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) today announced the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to expand the pool of qualified affordable housing developers for future 100% affordable housing created on NYCHA property. The de Blasio Administration aims to boost the number of qualified Small Business Enterprises (SBE), Minority-Owned Business Enterprises (MBE), Women-owned Business Enterprises (WBE), and not-for-profit developers that will vie for future 100% affordable housing NYCHA sites.

NYCHA and HPD are working to expand and create more opportunities through a two-step procurement program. After hearing from various MWBE and community-based development firms, this RFQ process was designed to make the developer response and selection process more accessible to a broad range of for-profit and non-profit developers. The first step—the RFQ—is an opportunity for the developer to profile their experience in affordable housing either as a standalone applicant or part of a joint venture proposal. NYCHA and HPD will review submissions and pre-qualify developers or developer teams for future solicitations to build 100% housing on NYCHA land. The second step—the Request for Expressions of Interest or RFEI—allows pre-qualified developers to submit proposals for 100% affordable projects. This two-step process streamlines the submission process for smaller developers and also allows them to team up with other pre-qualified entities to best match the needs for a specific housing project.

“This process is an innovative way to reduce barriers and bring more community-based developers to the table,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “We encourage all non-profit developers, M/WBEs and community partners to submit their qualifications and join us in creating more affordable housing and more connected communities through NextGeneration NYCHA.”

“The success of Housing New York will depend, in part, on whether we can expand the pool of developers to ensure that the affordable housing industry reflects the diversity of our great City and its amazing neighborhoods,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “ This Request for Qualifications for the development of affordable housing on various NYCHA-owned properties is yet another way the City is looking to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of our housing by increasing competition for our projects, promote community development, and foster local job growth -- central tenants of our Housing New York plan.”

“By expanding the options of affordable housing developers to include MWBEs and non-profits, it ensures that a wide range of skills and experiences are considered throughout the process, said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the City Council Committee on Public Housing. “MWBEs and non-profit developers bring added value and expertise that can transform how affordable housing is created on NYCHA developments.”

“Ensuring diversity among public housing developers is an important goal that can create economic opportunity, while helping NYCHA meet its needs and expand the stock of affordable housing,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. “Likewise, expanding non-profit participation in the process will benefit NYCHA residents and our entire City. I’m very pleased to see the agency taking these steps.”

This RFQ expands the opportunity for smaller and non-profit developers to partner on future projects that advance the goals of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units over the next ten years. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its goal is to help address New York City’s affordability crisis by housing more than half a million New Yorkers, ranging from those with very low incomes to the middle class – all of whom face increased pressures due to ever-rising rents. It also helps achieve NYCHA’s commitment to contribute 10,000 of those affordable units as part of NextGeneration NYCHA, the Authority’s 10-year strategic plan.

“New York Housing Conference applauds the City's housing agencies for recognizing the important role of nonprofit organizations in affordable housing development,” said Rachel Fee, Executive Director, New York Housing Conference. “With the recent expansion of minority- and women-owned business requirements, a more equitable playing field is being established to the benefit of communities across the five boroughs.”

“Creating truly inclusive and equitable communities requires leadership from the people and organizations that belong to those communities,” said Judi Kende, Vice President and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “Non-profits, M/WBEs and community-based organizations have a proven track record of bringing communities to the table and of providing long-term affordability, and we applaud NYCHA and HPD for proactively seeking out their expertise. The new RFQ will boost all our collective efforts as we continue the essential work of preserving public housing and providing more affordable housing opportunities for all New Yorkers.”

The RFQ, which was released on July 18, 2016, can be accessed here and responses are due by October 14, 2016. There will be a pre-submission conference held on August 3rd and 4th.