Tag Archives: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

Affordable housing for seniors


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

Some seniors may soon have an affordable place to call home.

Officials from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the MET Council celebrated the opening of Council Towers VI in Pomonok.

Located at 71st Avenue between Kissena and Parsons boulevards, the building is the sixth in a series of completed senior housing buildings designed to serve as supportive affordable housing for New York City residents 62 years of age and older.

Council Towers VI was developed under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), a multibillion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of the 2014 fiscal year. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of over 129,200 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs, with 12,500 of those units in Queens.

“HUD has no higher mission than improving people’s lives and strengthening communities, and this wonderful senior development does just that,” said Mirza Orriols, deputy regional administrator. “The latest statistics indicate that one in five New York City residents live in poverty, many of whom, unfortunately, are the elderly living on meager pensions or income.”

Council Towers VI is an eight-story building with 77 one-bedroom rental units and one unit reserved for an on-site superintendent. Twenty-five percent of the units have a preference for existing NYCHA tenants. All units have a senior preference for tenants age 62 and older. The units will be available to tenants earning no more than 50 percent Area Median Income (AMI) or $28,650 for an individual. The tenants’ rent will be set at 30 percent household income.

Residents of Council Towers VI have access to a variety of on-site services. Management staff will provide case management, benefits and entitlements advice and advocacy, as well as on-site education and recreational activities. An experienced social worker will serve as a support service coordinator. Staff will be equipped to refer tenants to off-site licensed health care agencies to provide home care, adult daycare, hospital services, medical education and nursing home options. Additional on-site services include Meals-On-Wheels, housekeeping assistance, counseling and recreational trips. Through the New York State Department of Transportation, Met Council provides transportation for the elderly to essential appointments and recreational outings.

 

Help for Home Owners


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

The city is aiming to restore the homeownership hopes of Queens residents hit hard by the foreclosure crisis.

Deputy Mayor Robert Steel and New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew Wambua joined Queens elected officials, as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the New York Mortgage Coalition on November 15 to announce the commencement of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) Buyer Assistance Program.

The program, which targets areas in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, grants qualified homebuyers with as much as $80,000 in forgivable loans towards the purchase of foreclosed or vacant homes in eligible neighborhoods. Housing counseling and homeowner training will also be provided for participants as part of the program.

“HUD’s investment in New York City via the NSP2 program is a key component in Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to help reverse the deleterious effects of foreclosure on our neighborhoods,” said Steel. “The single-family foreclosure crisis has significantly impacted neighborhoods across Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, and stabilizing these communities is critical to New York City’s economic recovery. HPD’s efforts in securing this funding and working with the NY Mortgage Coalition in creating this initiative will help make homes affordable for qualified buyers looking to put down roots in these neighborhoods.”

After the creation of NSP2, HPD assessed the level of foreclosure activity in each eligible census area between 2007 and 2009. During their study, the department determined that roughly 8,133 total mortgages were in danger of foreclosure, 5,780 of which were in Queens.

Eligible neighborhoods were selected by HUD based on the severity to which they were adversely impacted by the foreclosure crisis. Jackson Heights, Corona, the Rockways, Bellerose, Rosedale, Howard Beach, Jamaica and South Ozone Park are the Queens communities eligible for the program.

“The NSP has been able to help stabilize housing prices and neighborhoods in Queens,” said Councilmember Leroy Comrie, who represents Jamaica and Rosedale. “Having worked with constituents and with non-profits in the borough, I have seen firsthand how this program helped counsel new homeowners, preserve the quality of life within the community, and give us a fighting chance against the foreclosure crisis, which makes me glad to see it will continue.”

Prospective homebuyers who hope to participate in the Buyer Assistance Program cannot have an income in excess of 120 percent of the Area Median Income. They are also required to receive a minimum of eight hours of homeownership counseling and the foreclosed or vacant home must become the participant’s primary residence.

“Investing in our neighborhoods is essential if we are to preserve them,” said Wambua. “NSP helps us to educate and empower families, allowing those who qualify to make affordable investments in areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island that have borne the brunt of small home foreclosures.”