Community Investment News

Spring 2009

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New York Digs In|$1.5 Million Grant Helps Support West Harlem Community

 

Shovel-Ready: Those breaking ground at the new Fortune Academy Complex included NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, NYC Councilmember Robert Jackson, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel.
Photo Credit: John DaltonFHLBNY

 

A gathering of New York City’s political luminaries donned hardhats and hoisted shovels on February 19, 2009, to commemorate the groundbreaking for The Fortune Society’s Fortune Academy Complex, which will bring permanent affordable housing and services for formerly incarcerated men and women to West Harlem.  Federal Home Loan Bank of New York President Alfred DelliBovi joined speakers Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Congressman Charles Rangel, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and NYC Councilmember Robert Jackson at the groundbreaking, and announced that the Home Loan Bank, working with Carver Federal Savings Bank, had provided the project with a $1.5 million Affordable Housing Program (“AHP”) grant.

“Supportive housing is essential for the health, safety, and dignity of many vulnerable New Yorkers who are weathering hard economic times,” said Mayor Bloomberg in a press release.  “By combining public and private funds and partnering with organizations like the Fortune Society and Jonathan Rose Companies, the City has set the stage for a stunning new green housing complex that will become an important anchor in this West Harlem community."

The Fortune Society is dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated men and women successfully re-enter the community.  The 110,000 square-foot Fortune Academy Complex will assist in this endeavor by providing permanent housing and services for the formerly incarcerated.  The services offered at the Complex will include counseling, case management services, and financial planning.

The Complex will also increase the amount of affordable housing in the West Harlem community.  Fifty-one of the Complex’s 114 units will offer rents at 50-60% Area Median Income, providing affordable housing for low-income community residents and families.  In addition, the building’s “green” design will meet LEED Gold certification standards and enhance its energy-efficiency and sustainability qualities.

Though this is the first Fortune Society project to receive AHP funds, the Complex marks the sixth time the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York has partnered with Carver Federal Savings Bank.  Together, the two organizations have provided nearly $3 million in affordable housing grants, creating more than 300 units of affordable housing in New York City.

 


Dalton FHLBNY President and CEO Alfred DelliBovi announces the $1.5 million AHP grant at the Fortune Academy Complex groundbreaking ceremony on February 19.
Photo Credit: John Dalton






Speaking of the partnership created by the AHP grant, Mr. DelliBovi said, “We are pleased to join with Carver Federal Savings Bank and The Fortune Society to help create this supportive housing opportunity, which will build both homes and hope for its residents and, in doing so, strengthen the New York City community.”

$142 Million to Create Thousands of Housing Opportunities

In January, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (“FHLBNY”) purchased $142 million in taxable bonds issued by the New York City Housing Development Corporation (“HDC”) to support the development and preservation of thousands of units of affordable housing in New York City.

"The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York is delighted to provide $142 million in lower-cost dollars to HDC and New York City," said Alfred DelliBovi, President of the FHLBNY.  "The purchase of the bonds will help enable HDC to continue its mission of creating and preserving multi-family affordable housing throughout the five boroughs of New York City during this time of financial distress for so many."

HDC asked the FHLBNY to purchase the $142 million in HDC Housing Revenue Bonds Series J and K to strengthen its commitment to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s $7.5 billion plan to develop and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing in all five boroughs.

The FHLBNY purchase allows approximately $35 million of the Series J taxable bonds and $40 million in Series K bonds proceeds to refinance outstanding bonds that were originally issued by HDC and supported by a liquidity facility from Dexia Credit Local.

These bonds are primarily used to fund the Mitchell-Lama Restructuring Program and new construction of projects for moderate income New Yorkers under HDC’s New Housing Opportunity Program.  The proceeds of the remaining $65 million in 2008 Series K Bonds purchased by the FHLBNY will replenish HDC reserves used to fund both senior and subordinate loans, and can now be re-lent at a rate of one percent to new developments.

HDC Acting Chairman Marc Jahr said: “I am delighted to have the Federal Home Loan Bank at our side in this tough credit market.  The proceeds from the sale will refinance, preserve, and provide construction loan financing for a total of 1,019 units of affordable housing in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.  In addition, a portion of the bonds will be used to replenish HDC’s unrestricted corporate reserves, which can then be re-lent to support new developments that are part of Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan.”

HDC provides a variety of financing programs for the creation and preservation of multi-family affordable housing as part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing in New York City.  In 2008, HDC became the nation’s largest issuer of single and multi-family bonds, with a total of $1.37 billion in bonds issued to finance the development and preservation of affordable housing in the City of New York.

Croton Heights Apartments Providing Homes in Time for the Holidays

The Croton Heights Apartments

In a show of support of and commitment to the City of Yonkers affordable housing initiatives, more than 100 dignitaries from across New York attended the December opening of the Croton Heights Apartments, part of the continuing $180 million Urban Renewal Plan for Ashburton Avenue in Yonkers.  M&T Bank partnered with the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York to provide Housing Action Council, the not-for-profit project sponsor, with a $900,000 Affordable Housing Program (“AHP”) grant to assist in construction costs.

The 60-unit rental community features one-, two-, and three-bedroom units with substantial community space, a children’s “tot lot”, a fitness room, a computer center, storage space, on-site parking, and easy access to City Hall, transportation, and the new Yonkers waterfront and other development projects in the City’s central business district.  In addition to the AHP grant, other sources of financing include the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, New York State Housing Finance Agency, Bank of America, The Richman Group Affordable Housing Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOPE VI Program.

The Croton Heights Apartment Complex is part of the HOPE VI Revitalization Plan, a federally-funded program that seeks to replace severely distressed public housing projects occupied exclusively by impoverished families with redesigned mixed-income housing.  As part of the Plan, Mulford Gardens, one of the first public housing projects built in the country by the Municipal Housing Authority, will be demolished and redeveloped.

Rosemarie Noonan, the executive director of Housing Action Council, Inc., works with a team charged with the responsibility to rehouse former tenants of Mulford Gardens in the new Croton Heights Apartments.  Mulford Gardens’ former tenants will receive first preference for housing in the new complex.

It is a privilege to work with the tenants displaced during this time of transition,” Ms. Noonan said.  “The tenants are very excited and encouraged to have the opportunity for a fresh start in a new home that offers a great deal of new amenities.”

Joining Ms. Noonan at the December 15, 2008 event were U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey; Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano; Kristin Miller, President of the Richman Group; Joseph Shuldiner, Executive Director of the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers; Greg Watson, NYC Regional Director of  the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal; Ellen Lynch, President and CEO of Yonkers IDA; and Peter King, Affordable Housing Officer at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.

Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone, who also attended the event, summed up the drive behind the creation of the Croton Heights Apartments, adding: “We're not rebuilding it [Croton Heights Apartments] in spite of the people who were here.  We're building it for the people who were here."

 

 

New Housing a Milestone Event for Spring Valley Seniors

Spring Valley Senior Apartments Rendering

Last spring, representatives from Provident Bank and The Community Preservation Corporation Resources, Inc. (“CPCR”), along with Rockland Housing Action Coalition (“RHAC”) and The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (“FHLBNY”), united for the ground breaking of The Spring Valley Senior Apartments.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a milestone event of downtown Spring Valley,” said Isaac Henderson, Project Manager for CPCR.  Deborah VanAmerongen, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal, continued the sentiments.  “The importance of bolstering downtown neighborhoods in our cities with affordable housing has become increasingly clear.  In the case of Spring Valley Apartments, RHAC has shown that they concur.  On behalf of Governor Paterson, I’d like to congratulate Mayor Darden and all of our partners, especially CPC, for sharing our commitment to housing for our senior citizens.”

This project involves the construction of 53 units of housing for very low-income senior citizens.  As part of the Village of Spring Valley’s comprehensive urban renewal plan, this development is designed to revitalize the downtown area through the creation of new mixed-use developments that concentrate both new housing and retail in the Village’s downtown core.

“I believe our mixed-use development, which allows retail and rental housing in the Spring Valley downtown area, is the key to creating a strong and vital economy,” said Gerri Levy, Executive Director of the Rockland Housing Action Coalition.  “Strong leadership on both the Village and County level, coupled with dedicated, experienced partners in development and housing-related programs and services will ensure that this project will be successful.”

The project will replace dilapidated, mixed-use buildings with new housing and commercial space.  With a revitalized downtown, residents will have easy access to the primary commercial center which will include restaurants and other commercial amenities.  All housing units will be handicapped adaptable, and the project also includes on-site parking, laundry facilities, an outdoor courtyard, and a community room.

“Spring Valley is on the move. This historic project will rejuvenate our commercial center, upgrade our housing stock, and transform our future,” said Mayor George Darden.

The FHLBNY provided $795,000 through the Affordable Housing Program (“AHP”) to be used to partially finance acquisition and construction costs.  Provident Bank will administer the program.  Other financing will be provided by the New York State Housing Trust Fund, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, JP Morgan Chase, and Centerline Capital Group.  The Village of Spring Valley provided the land at a significantly below market cost.  

$800,000 for Manchester Township’s Seniors

 

Picture left to right at the FHLBNY check presentation: U.S. Congressman Chris Smith; Manchester Township Mayor Michael Fressola; Richard S. Mroz, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York Board Member; William D. Moss, President and CEO, Two River Community Bank;and Gary Puma, President and CEO, PHS Senior Living.

 

 

On February 2, 2009, Congressman Chris Smith (NJ, 4) was on hand at the Manchester Township Municipal Building to participate in announcing an $800,000 Affordable Housing Program (“AHP”) award to PHS Senior Living to help fund financing and construction costs related to the construction of the Presbyterian Home at Manchester.  The Congressman, who has supported the senior living project since 2007, was joined by Two River Community Bank President and CEO William D. Moss, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York Board Member Richard S. Mroz, and the event’s host Manchester Township Mayor Michael Fressola.

“This grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank will help provide more than 80 affordable homes to individuals who need them,” said Congressman Smith.  “Presbyterian Home at Manchester will provide low-income seniors with handicapped-accessible homes and access to assistance for daily living activities like meal preparation and health care screenings.”

The $800,000 grant will be put toward the construction of the 84-unit Presbyterian Home at Manchester, which will provide rental housing for very low-income senior citizens.  All of the apartments will be handicapped accessible and 10% of the units will be set aside specifically for handicapped individuals.  The Home will be supervised by an on-site service coordinator, and the supportive services offered will range from socialization and health screening programs to assistance with daily tasks such as shopping, housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation, and personal care assistance.  Participation in social and recreational programs will be encouraged to promote mental and social stimulation.  Additional financing will be provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Manchester Township.

PHS Senior Living is actively and locally involved in Manchester Township.  This local involvement is often what makes the AHP grants so successful.  “Who knows what the community needs more than the community itself,” remarked Mr. Mroz.

Since the inception of the Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program, the Bank has been very active in Congressman Smith’s district.  The Presbyterian Home at Manchester marks the 23rd affordable housing project the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York has supported in New Jersey’s 4th District since 1990.  In that time, AHP grants totaling more than $5 million have helped to create or rehabilitate more than 700 units of affordable housing in the 4th District, generating an estimated $75.6 million in development costs. Congressman Smith has represented the 4th District since being elected to Congress in 1981.

The Presbyterian Home at Manchester also marks the first AHP project for Two River Community Bank.  Commenting on this at the February event, Mr. Moss stated, “This is our first AHP project, and I can promise you, we’ll be involved in many more like this.”

Program Spotlight: The First Home Clubsm

The First Home Clubsm ("FHC") was launched by the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York in 1995 to help income-qualified first-time homebuyers save towards the purchase of a new home.  The program is a non-competitive set-aside of the Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program (“AHP”) and is administered through approved member banks of the Home Loan Bank.  FHC subsidy funds can be used to provide down-payment and closing-cost assistance to qualified first-time homebuyers who follow a systematic savings plan and participate in an approved homeownership counseling program.  A special set-aside grant may be used to defray the costs of a non-profit housing agency providing such counseling to FHC households who purchase FHC grant-assisted homes.

Maximum Subsidy: A household may receive up to $7,500 based on a 4:1 match of their savings in a dedicated account with the member bank.

Daryln Colon Recieves First Home Club grant

Darlyn Colon closed on her first single-family home on March 13, 2009.  To help overcome the cost barrier, Ms. Colon received a $7,500 First Home Club grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and The Summit Federal Credit Union.  Joining Ms. Colon in celebration are, from left to right: Lisa Alcott, Providence Housing; Leanne McGuinness, The Summit Federal Credit Union; Ms. Colon, Homeowner; Mark Gregory, The Summit; and Mary Nannini, The Summit.  An additional $500 for financial counseling for the homebuyer has been provided, bringing the total amount of the check to $8,000.  The FHLBNY has found that this counseling works – participants in the FHC program have a default rate of less than ½ of 1%.


3,000th FHC Recipient


First-time homebuyer Ms. Camille Ragin proudly waves her keys in front of her new condo unit.


Community Education Seminar

On Tuesday, January 27, 2009, representatives from Capital Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York gathered together to present a Community Education Seminar for First-Time Homebuyers.  Approximately 75 customers turned out.

To the left, Peter King, FHLBNY Affordable Housing Officer, addresses eager first-time homebuyers.

FHLBNY Awards $19.1 Million for 51 Affordable Housing Initiatives

While the national housing market has taken a step back, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York continues to move forward, providing its communities with the dollars in discounted advances and Affordable Housing Grants that they need to enhance the quality of life where they lend and give.  We are pleased to announce the grant winners of the second round of AHP funding in 2008.  Fifty-one projects will receive $19.1 million in AHP subsidy dollars to create 2,213 units of affordable housing.  It is anticipated that almost $409.8 million in development costs will be generated from development of these initiatives.  Each AHP subsidy award is specified below.

Since the inception of the AHP in 1990, the FHLBNY has contributed $345,006,794 to fund 51,301 affordable housing units in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Below are the logos of the members who sponsored award winners in this round.


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