Municipal Housing Authority of Yonkers Makes Significant Strides to Renovate Housing Stock

Real Estate In-Depth | December 2019

The Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers renovated 1,336 units of public housing, including 843 apartments at the Palisades Towers complex.

YONKERS—The Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers reported recently it renovated a total of 1,336 housing units in 2019 and had 86 under construction and 338 in the pipeline for renovation in 2020.

In July of 2017, MHACY launched a $300-million, three-year plan to renovate more than 1,700 units of public housing in Yonkers under HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program which allows the city and MHACY to leverage its properties and use tax credits to attract private investors. It is the most extensive public housing renovation in the nation using public/private financing, city officials stated.

Projects renovated in 2019 under the RAD program include Yonkers Senior Apartments (279 units), Seven Townhomes (204 units) and Palisade Towers (853 units).

In addition to the RAD renovations, 44 units have been constructed in two buildings along Willow Place and another 26 units in two buildings along Warburton Avenue, collectively known as The Villas at Ridgeway. The Community Builders is MHACY’s partner in this development.

In May, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano joined with MHACY officials for a tour of William A. Walsh Homes and William A. Schlobohm Houses that have undergone major renovations. MHACY Executive Director Joseph Shuldiner led the tour with Mayor Spano and representatives of L+M Development Partners, the co-developer and general contractor for the projects. The total cost of the renovations is approximately $35 million for Walsh and $48 million for Schlobohm. Renovations are also being made to John E. Flynn Manor bringing the total cost of the three projects to $100.4 million.

Another significant event for MHACYwas the September launch of a partnership with T-Mobile to provide families and students in public housing with free tablets and access to T-Mobile’s high-speed 4G LTE network. Tablets were handed out to 307 families of the Calcagno Homes and Loehr Court apartments. The two sites were selected to participate in a Pilot Demonstration Program that could eventually expand to incorporate all 2,000 residents. MHACY and T-Mobile are participating in HUD’s ConnectHomeUSA initiative to close the digital divide in America and to extend free 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots and tablets to families living in HUD-assisted housing.

In October, MHACY announced a $2.5-million award from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York to help finance rehabilitation of the Ross F. Calcagno Homes apartment complex. The rehabilitation work to the 278-unit complex will include new kitchens and baths, entry doors, light fixtures, flooring replacement, and common hallways. Exterior work will include new roofs, exterior doors, lintel replacement and brick repair. The work is scheduled to start in spring of 2020 and last for 18 months. The rehabilitation work will be done with residents in place.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano joined with MHACY representatives in November in welcoming the first new residents at The Villas at Ridgeway. The project includes new modular housing built across four buildings at two sites and rehabilitation of an existing day care center. The project is the third phase of redevelopment by The Community Builders and the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers at the former Cottage Place Gardens site.

Finally, MHACY Executive Director Joseph Shuldiner was presented with the Clara Fox Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Annual New York Housing Conference luncheon held on Dec. 4 in New York City. Shuldiner was recognized as being a national leader in the field of affordable housing, having previously managed three of the largest public housing agencies in the nation: New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, as well as heading the program on the national level as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).