News Alert: November 9
Deutsche Bank Study Highlights Significant Savings from Energy Retrofits
The New York Times reports that a study examining energy retrofits to19,000 affordable housing units in New York City found "a 19 percent savings on fuel bills and a 10 percent savings on electricity across the portfolio [translating into] $240 in fuel savings and $70 in electrical savings per apartment every year."
The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation commissioned the study in partnership with Living Cities, a consortium of 22 foundations and financial institutions. The authors of the study hope that loan underwriting will take into account projected savings from retrofit investments.
On December 8th, the New York Housing Conference will be holding a symposium focusing on this issue: "Green is the New Green: How Underwriters and the Development Community are Transforming Their View of Green Investments". This symposium is a part of its 38th Annual Awards Program line-up. Click here for more details.
News Alert: November 8
Gotham Organization Breaks Ground on Massive West Side Complex
Construction on the largest development in the history of Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan began today. The Gotham Organization is developing a 3-tower complex that will span the entire block between West 44th & West 45th Streets and 10th & 11th Avenues and consist of 1,238 apartments, 15,000 square feet of retail, 17,000 square feet of open space in addition to a new elementary school to replace PS 51. 600 of the units will be affordable to households earning between 40 percent and 165 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) or the equivalent of $32,720 to $134,970 for a family of four.
Financing for the project comes from $520 million primarily tax-exempt bonds issued by the New York State Housing Finance Agency. The bonds are credit enhanced by a syndicate of lenders led by Wells Fargo Bank. The project also leverages $35.5 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
The project was designed by the architectural firm Schuman Lichtenstein Claman and Efron and is expected to create 2,900 construction jobs.
News Alert: November 7
Hotel Loophole Endangers Affordable Housing Stock
NBC New York reports on a Chelsea landlord taking advantage of "an existing loophole in state housing law allows a building owner to reclaim one or more apartments, even from rent-controlled tenants, for their own use." Five tenants have been evicted by landlord Gary Brown who owns a company called Furnished Quarters and already has converted empty units in the building into hotel rooms.
Legislation to close the loophole has been proposed by Assemblyman Dick Gottfried.
News Alert: November 4
HUD Proposes Regulatory Changes to HOME Program
In the face of recent political scrutiny of the alleged HOME Program mismanagement, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued rule changes that would:
•Require state and local governments to adopt policies and procedures to improve their oversight of projects, develop a system for assessing the relative risk of projects, and more closely monitor their HOME-funded sub-recipients;
•Require state and local governments to assess a developer’s capacity and the long-term viability of the project, before they commit HOME funds to a project;
•Require more frequent reporting by state and local ‘participating jurisdictions’ to enable HUD to more closely track projects once they’re under way; and
•Set a higher ‘performance bar’ by establishing specific timeframes for taking appropriate corrective actions against participating jurisdictions who fail to complete what they started.
News Alert: November 4
F.E.G.S. Embarks on Multi-Million Dollar Renovation of Tanya Towers
Tanya Towers, a 138-unit residence on the Lower East Side that serves low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities, will be undergoing a $4.4 million renovation. F.E.G.S. Health and Human Services System, which operates the building, will be managing the project which will "include elevator modernization, boiler replacement, windows, concrete work and unit upgrades. Improvements will also include facility modifications to address the special needs of the deaf and those with other disabilities, upgrades of the gardens and community spaces, as well as taking the necessary steps to “green” the building and achieve LEED certification. "
Funding for the project comes from a $1 million capital grant from the New York City Council sponsored by Council Member Rosie Mendez, a $500,000 grant from the Office of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and an additional $2.9 million in financing through the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC).
News Alert: November 3
Nassau County Breaks Ground on Affordable Homes
Affordable single-family homes will be built in Inwood for the four winners of a housing lottery held by Nassau County in April 2010. The three-bedroom, one-and-a-half baths homes will be built by the Roosevelt Development Corporation which were made affordable through grants from Nassau County and the Federal HOME Program as well as funds from the New York Homes and Community Renewal through the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation. The homes will be sold to the winners for $157,563.