FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2016
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NYCHA releases request for Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) proposals in Far Rockaway, Queens
NYCHA Seeks Partners to Upgrade 1,400 Apartments at Ocean Bay (Bayside) With Innovative Federal Housing Program
NEW YORK— The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) today released the “Request for Proposal” (RFP) for potential developers to upgrade approximately 1,400 public housing units at Ocean Bay (Bayside) Apartments in the Far Rockaway’s through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. RAD is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program, which will enable NYCHA to create a public-private partnership to access additional funding to make vital infrastructure repairs by leveraging the Section 8 program.
RAD is a component of NextGeneration NYCHA, NYCHA’s 10 year strategic plan to preserve public housing and become a more effective and efficient landlord.
A federal program created under the Obama Administration in 2011, the purpose of RAD is to preserve and improve public housing across the country that is at risk of further decay, demolition and abandonment. RAD enables public housing agencies facing billions in unmet capital needs to shift units in their portfolio from HUD’s Public Housing program to the Section 8 program. RAD ensures converted units are permanently affordable, residents retain their public housing rights, and the public housing authority retains ownership interest in the property.
"NYCHA must use every tool available to protect the affordability of New York City’s housing stock and strengthen public housing for this and future generations,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. "By leveraging the RAD program, we will help improve the quality of life for residents at Ocean Bay (Bayside), ensuring their apartments and buildings receive much-needed repairs and upgrades while preserving affordability and tenant protections.”
The release of the RFP is a major milestone for a process that started back in 2013, when NYCHA first met with residents and community members at Ocean Bay (Bayside) to discuss ways the Authority could renovate, repair, and improve the quality of life at the development through the RAD program. In the past year, NYCHA has hosted over 12 monthly meetings with residents to inform them about RAD, tenant rights, jobs and other critical issues related to this program.
NYCHA estimates the 24 buildings and nearly 1,400 apartments at Ocean Bay (Bayside) need about $174 million in major improvements and upgrades over the next 20 years, such as kitchen and bathroom modernizations, roof replacement, boiler replacements and safety upgrades. Through the RFP, NYCHA is inviting developers, including non-profit entities and M/WBE firms, to submit proposals for the financing, major rehabilitation and operations of Ocean Bay (Bayside) as a Section 8 property.
As the funding supporting this development transitions from public housing to Section 8, NYCHA will retain ownership and play a key role in decision-making and oversight of the project. Under RAD rules, the property and unit count must remain permanently affordable (cannot exceed 30% of resident income), which NYCHA will enforce through agreements with the developer and ownership of the land. Residents will continue to have the same succession opportunities and grievance procedures under the RAD program that currently exist for NYCHA’s public housing residents. No resident can be evicted without proven cause. Residents will retain the right to establish and operate a resident organization. Finally, developers will be required to propose a plan to train and hire NYCHA residents, and proactively engage residents on a regular basis as the project moves forward.
The RFP can be accessed here and proposals are due April 29, 2016.
"Although far from a magic bullet, RAD is as close to a win-win as one could imagine,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Committee on Public Housing and Co-Chair of the Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus. “It brings new capital dollars to public housing on the brink while at the same time preserving the same number of affordable units and the same depth and duration of affordability. If that does not constitute a win for the residents of Ocean Bay, I am not clear what would.”
“As NYCHA continues to find creative plans to improve the lives of its residents, I look forward to working with them to ensure that Rockaway residents get the most out of programs such as RAD,” said Council Member Donovan Richards.
"NYCHA provides permanent affordable housing for a population roughly the size of Atlanta. The renovation of Ocean Bay using HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration program is a model for the innovative financial solutions NYCHA requires to address its significant capital needs and preserve this housing for some of New York’s most vulnerable residents," said Judi Kende, Vice President and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. "NYCHA will now be able to make needed repairs and improve the quality of life for the residents of Ocean Bay.”