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Homes and Community Renewal

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Announces $3.5 Million Award to Upgrade 4 NYC-Owned Buildings in Washington Heights And Convert to Cooperative Ownership

Funds will Provide 94 Affordable Homeownership Opportunities, Enhancing Community

Current Tenants Will Have Option to Purchase Their Homes for $2,500

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) today announced a $3,520,000 award to Restoring Communities Housing Development Fund Corporation for the acquisition and rehabilitation of 94 units across four buildings in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Governor Cuomo has demonstrated his commitment to enhancing the lives of New York families by improving living conditions, increasing access to homeownership, and removing blight from our neighborhoods. These funds announced today do just that. We are grateful to our city, nonprofit and private-sector partners for making this project possible.”

The funds are awarded through HCR’s Affordable Home Ownership Development Program (AHODP). The addition of AHODP funds to the project will allow for greater affordability for existing tenants and new purchasers by reducing the amount of permanent debt owed. AHODP funds will be accessed at cooperative conversion for existing tenants and at homebuyer closing for the new purchasers of the vacant units.

After conversion, all existing tenants will have the option to purchase their homes for $2,500. Outsider purchasers will be selected through a competitive process overseen by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

Since 2011, more than 10,500 homes have been created or made safer and more affordable with approximately $203 million in AHODP awards.

The awards announced today are part of the Governor’s unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan, which is on its way to building and preserving 112,000 affordable homes across the state. The comprehensive approach to the state’s housing issues includes multifamily and single-family housing, as well as community development.

Restoring Communities is partnering with HPD as part of the Agency’s Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program (ANCP). Through ANCP, HPD is facilitating the rehabilitation and subsequent transfer to affordable cooperative ownership of 158 City-owned buildings that have been self-managed by the existing tenants under HPD’s Tenant Interim Lease Program.

The Fort Washington Avenue cluster includes 25 units within the property at 9 Fort Washington Avenue, 24 units at 518 West 161st Street, 20 units at 544-46 West 163rd Street and 25 units at 609 West 158th Street, for a total of 94 units among the four properties. Sixty-three units are currently occupied and the rest are vacant.

All four buildings will undergo a gut-rehabilitation whereby all major systems will be replaced, including but not limited to boilers, roofs, and windows. Additionally, the replacement of systems in all buildings will be completed in accordance with Enterprise Green Communities standards, which will improve energy efficiency and reduce the annual cost of utilizes for the newly formed low-income cooperative.

Total development cost for the entire project is approximately $29 million. Permanent financing will be provided by HCR, City Capital funds from HPD, homeowner mortgages and equity and a permanent loan from Community Preservation Corporation. The developer is MHANY Management and the general contractor is FG-PH Corporation.

Restoring Communities Housing Development Fund Corporation is a nonprofit organization with extensive experience in creating affordable homeownership opportunities. It is an affiliate of Neighborhood Restore Housing Development Fund Corporation and has been a long-time partner with HPD in revitalizing New York City neighborhoods. Through its established partnerships with government, lenders, and community partners, Restoring Communities and their affiliates have remained active in leading affordable housing programs by successfully acquiring, rehabilitating, and marketing distressed properties to low- and moderate-income households.

The Affordable Home Ownership Development Program provides up to $40,000 per home to eligible municipalities, municipal housing authorities, and other not-for-profit and charitable organizations that develop affordable housing or assist homeowners in funding necessary repairs. Awards can be used to make improvements to existing owner-occupied single or multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives; acquire and rehabilitate owner-occupied homes for sale, including single and multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives; and construct new owner-occupied homes for sale, including single and multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives including dilapidated and manufactured homes.

Senator Marisol Alcantara said, "I am very glad that Governor Cuomo and Housing and Community Renewal are showing their support for affordable home ownership in my community through this award. New Yorkers deserve the chance to put down roots and continue to contribute to the communities they have helped build, and through innovative programs like this one, more New Yorkers will be able to afford to stay in the city they love. The option to purchase their apartment will be transformative to the lives of the occupants of these 94 units, as homeownership has been proven to foster social mobility and create opportunities to enter the middle class."

NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer said, “Through the Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program, HPD is providing long-time tenants with a path to affordable homeownership.  The four City-owned buildings that comprise the Fort Washington Avenue ANCP cluster will be significantly rehabilitated, providing more than 100 low and moderate income New Yorkers with quality, affordable homes and greater financial security. I want to thank HCR, Neighborhood Restore, MHANY Management, Community Preservation Corporation and all our partners for their hard work to move this project forward, and the City Council for their ongoing support of this program that is so essential to the stability of our city’s families and communities.”

Salvatore D’Avola, Executive Director, Neighborhood Restore Housing Development Fund Corporation said, “We are so pleased that the New York State Homes and Community Renewal has awarded our affiliate, Restoring Communities Housing Development Fund Corporation, $3,520,000 to fund our Fort Washington cluster project. This funding will provide 94 low income families in Upper Manhattan the opportunity to purchase newly renovated affordable apartments through the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program. We look forward to working closely with the AHC, HPD and our non-profit partner, MHANY Management, Inc., on this project.”


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