Albany, NY – March 19, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor David A. Paterson has signed into law legislation authorizing the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to restructure the ownership of 21 public housing developments as part of a comprehensive rehabilitations plan. The restructuring, together with physical improvements that will be financed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will also make the developments eligible for annual operating and capital subsidies from the federal government.
Governor Paterson said “This legislation will help make NYCHA eligible for $65 million annually in federal subsidies for capital and operating costs. Combined with more than $200 million in stimulus funds, these new resources will help to preserve and modernize our public housing developments, improving the quality of life and living conditions for all the residents of public housing in New York.”
Brian Lawlor, acting commissioner of the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) said the new law “Will immediately qualify more than 20,000 units of public housing in 21 developments for funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. I applaud Governor Paterson, the State Legislature and the bill’s chief sponsors, Assembly Housing Committee Chair Vito Lopez and State Senator Daniel Squadron, for their efforts in securing this additional funding source, for the benefit of the public housing residents of New York.”
There are 334 public housing developments operated by NYCHA, serving more than 400,000 tenants. However, 21 of these projects, six financed and supervised by the city and 15 by the state, are currently not eligible for direct federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The legislation allows for the financial restructuring and rehabilitation of those 21 public housing projects, which will permit them to meet HUD’s physical condition standards and thereby qualify them for federal operating and repair subsidies. These subsidies would enable NYCHA to address dire structural problems in its buildings, including broken elevators, leaking roofs, and security issues.
Mixed-finance public housing allows a housing authority to access public, private, and non-profit funds to rehabilitate and operate its housing developments.
The State-aided housing projects which would be affected by this legislation include Marlboro Houses, Bushwick Houses, Jonathan Williams Plaza and Independence Towers in Brooklyn; Castle Hill Houses, Arthur H. Murphy Houses and Baychester Houses in the Bronx; Chelsea Houses, 344 East 28th Street, Amsterdam Addition, Stephen Wise Towers, Drew-Hamilton Houses, Rutgers Houses and Manhattanville Houses in Manhattan; and Stapleton Houses in Staten Island.
Under the legislation, NYCHA will retain control over the ownership and operation of the twenty-one housing developments with all tenants retaining their current public housing protections.
NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea said “NYCHA applauds the very fine efforts by State lawmakers in passing this key vote to bring NYCHA closer to completing its mixed finance deal that would qualify our unfunded City and State developments to receive dedicated federal operating and capital subsidy. Once the mixed finance modernization application is finalized, this would be the largest mixed finance deal for housing in the nation’s history. NYCHA will be using more than $200 million in stimulus funds in conjunction with private equity funds to complete the transaction by the statutory deadline of March 17, 2010. In addition to providing funding for most of these City and State developments, the federalization plan would enable all of NYCHA’s other developments to benefit from their full portion of federal funds. We offer our gratitude to Governor Paterson for signing the bill and to the members of the Assembly and Senate for their support.”