HPD Celebrates Another Record-Breaking Fiscal Year

Today, we announced major progress towards Housing New York, with 23,284 affordable apartments and homes financed in Fiscal Year 2016 – the second highest production on record. Two and one-half years into the de Blasio Administration, we are more than one-quarter of the way towards our 200,000-unit, ten-year goal, with the preservation or new construction of 52,936 affordable apartments underway.

This historic achievement is due to the leadership and vision of Mayor de Blasio and Deputy Mayor Glen, the creativity, dedication, and hard work of the teams at HPD and HDC and so many of our partner city agencies and our counterparts in state and federal government, and the ongoing commitment and unparalleled talent of the affordable housing community.

From day one, we ramped up to meet the goals of the Housing New York plan, and through new programs and initiatives are delivering real results. Despite the lapse of 421-a, we still had one of the top five years for new construction in HPD’s history, with 6,097 new apartments. New programs are now bearing fruit – we are seeing increased production from our Extremely-Low and Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) and Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) programs; our New Infill Homeownership Opportunities Program (NIHOP) and Neighborhood Construction Program (NCP) for small-infill sites; and our Mix and Match and M2 programs for mixed-income housing.

For all that new construction, we owe a special thanks to our tireless As
sistant Commissioner for New Construction Finance Susan Kensky, who retired on June 30 after 33 years at HPD. Susan was a generous mentor, a model public servant, and a true leader in the affordable housing industry. She will be greatly missed, but we wish her much happiness and fulfillment (and many hours of joy with her grandchildren!) in the years ahead.

Our 17,187 preservation units reflect new efforts to expand the playing field, bringing complexes like Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village and Riverton Houses into regulatory agreements restricting apartments to affordable rents before they were sold, and reaching smaller buildings through our new Green Housing Preservation Program.

Housing New York
isn’t about numbers, it is about the people we are serving through the affordable homes we build and preserve. This administration is committed to providing far deeper levels of affordability, and we didn't just meet the targets we set – we exceeded them. Fully one-quarter of our total production is for the lowest-income New Yorkers, those making less than $31,100 for an individual or $40,800 for a family of three. And half of those homes are for New Yorkers making less than $19,050, or $24,500 for a family of three. At the same time, we are reaching a broader range of New Yorkers – going up the income scale in order to address the affordability issues facing our critical workforce. We also are increasingly addressing special needs: to date, we’ve financed 3,697 affordable apartments for seniors and 3,832 homes for the homeless, while increasing the number of accessible and affordable apartments for New Yorkers with disabilities.

HNY is also about changing the rules of the game to allow us to grow our neighborhoods, while fighting back against the displacement of New Yorkers – especially low-income New Yorkers – that we’ve seen as the City’s housing market has tightened and the population continues to surge. Through historic achievements like Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA), we are making policy changes that will shape the future of our City for generations to come.

While it is too soon to point to specific homes attributable to MIH, we’ll soon be issuing our first RFP since the rezoning in East New York, seeking proposals for the development of the Dinsmore Chestnut public site. HPD and our partner City agencies recently held two workshops to engage the community in crafting a vision for future development on that site that pays real attention to the entirety of the neighborhood’s needs. The effects of ZQA, a major victory for senior affordable housing, are already taking hold as we are seeing significant savings being generated by the elimination of costly parking requirements, and additional apartments being added to projects in the pipeline to take the place of under-used parking lots.

Housing New York also committed us to change how we do business – within HPD, and across agencies. Already we’ve introduced numerous streamlining measures to save time and money for our partners and speed up the delivery of affordable housing. From our BLDS eSubmit – which expedited our design review process with DOB and made it paperless, to Tax Incentives Direct – our online portal for applications for 420-c and inclusionary housing, to structural changes to make our work with HDC on increasingly complex projects almost seamless, we are re-engineering how we work to get better projects, and to get them in the ground faster.

The coming year will see even more improvements. As we continue to move forward on our robust pipeline of RFPs and preservation and new construction projects, we also will be: leading a community planning process in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and working with our sister agencies in on-going planning and rezoning efforts in other neighborhoods; implementing advances to Housing Connect and the marketing process; working to make the requirement of permanent affordability more measurable and rigorous; devising, in partnership with the City Council, an effective and cost-efficient anti-harassment policy; and rolling out additional technological advances to make our processes more efficient and transparent.

There is much more to be done, and we welcome your suggestions about our priorities. We are grateful for the vast experience, good judgment, and deep commitment of the entire affordable housing community, and will be looking to you to help keep the momentum and pick up the pace even further to achieve the goals of Housing New York.

The urgency is real. We are motivated by the countless New Yorkers who are struggling to find, and stay in affordable housing. Some of their heartening, and humbling, stories are highlighted in our newAffordable for Me campaign, to which I hope you’ll contribute examples from your own work.

All of us at HPD thank you for your partnership, and look forward to working with you to create and preserve quality, affordable housing in neighborhoods across the five boroughs, and to foster the economic diversity that is the hallmark of a great city.

Vicki Been
HPD Commissioner

This message was sent to james@capalino.com by hpdcomm@hpd.nyc.gov
100 Gold Street, New York, New York, 10038

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