State to Provide $200M for Housing Projects in Westchester, Bronx
Real Estate In-Depth | July 30, 2021
ALBANY—Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on July 29 that as part of his $20-billion program to combat homelessness and create affordable housing, the state will provide a total of $195.5 million in financing for two housing developments in Westchester and two in the Bronx.
The governor announced $270 million in financing for six affordable housing developments throughout the state that will build or preserve 728 affordable, supportive, sustainable homes for New Yorkers. The awards will leverage an additional $93 million to create an overall investment of more than $360 million that will spur local economic development and advance New York’s commitment to healthy, energy-efficient housing opportunities that reduce the state’s impact on the environment.
“Through our ongoing commitment to combating the housing crisis, we are providing safe, affordable and sustainable homes for the New Yorkers who need them most,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This significant funding will create hundreds of affordable homes across the state, while also spurring local economic development and furthering our goal of creating healthier, more prosperous communities for the future.”
The projects in the HGAR service area include:
$58.1 million for Point and Ravine in the City of Yonkers. The project will consist of two six-story buildings and two three-story townhouse-style buildings with a total of 146 affordable apartments. The development is being constructed on vacant parcels in a highly distressed section of the Warburton-Ravine neighborhood as part of the city’s Ravine Avenue Urban Renewal Plan. The developer is Conifer Realty, LLC.
In March of this year, The Yonkers IDA voted final approval of financial incentives for Point & Ravine Apartments, a $72 million project that will transform a blighted and vacant block in the Warburton Ravine Urban Renewal Area into a sustainable intergenerational community. Point & Ravine Apartments is a public partnership between developer Conifer Realty LLC and the City of Yonkers.
$37.9 million for the Greenburgh Housing Authority Garden Apartments in the Town of Greenburgh. The project will upgrade and modernize 85 existing public housing apartments at scattered locations. The scope of work will address ground and landscaping issues, repair underground infrastructure, repair sidewalks, install energy-efficient site lighting and improve accessibility.
$53.1 million for Garden Towers Apartments in the Morrisania neighborhood of the South Bronx. The development will construct 150 apartments for seniors across two buildings that will be connected by a glass-enclosed greenhouse. Forty-five apartments will be reserved for formerly homeless seniors who will receive onsite supportive services. The project’s developers are Foxy Management and the Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee.
$50.4 million for Saint James Terrace in the Bronx neighborhood of Fordham Heights. The project involves the acquisition and redevelopment of property owned by the adjacent St. James Episcopal Church to create 102 affordable apartments with 51 apartments reserved for homeless individuals. The building’s ground floor will be used by a nonprofit affiliate of the church to provide community services such as a food pantry, financial wellness seminars and afterschool programming. The developer is Concern for Independent Living, Inc.
The funding is part of Gov. Cuomo’s five-year housing plan to make housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. Funding is provided by New York State Homes and Community Renewal and includes $202 million in tax exempt housing bonds and $68 million in subsidy financing through various programs designed to develop and preserve affordable housing.
Those projects also advance the governor’s commitment to green, energy-efficient housing that reduces the state’s carbon footprint and impact on the climate. Four of the projects—Garden Towers Apartments, Saint James Terrace, Asteri Ithaca, and Friendship Lodge—were awarded bonds that are certified by the international Climate Bond Initiative, and all will meet green building standards that advance New York’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
To be certified as a Climate Bond, a bond offering needs to meet rigorous criteria relating to reporting and transparency and the green characteristics of the underlying assets. Eligible projects funded with the bonds need to be clearly identified; internal processes and controls to ensure tracking of proceeds must be established; and reporting regarding assets involved is required. The bond needs to be verified by an independent external verifier approved by the Climate Bonds Initiative Board. Lastly, the issuer of a Climate Bond is required to provide annual reports to update the assets funded with the Climate Bond proceeds. The Climate Bonds Initiative is an investor-focused nonprofit, promoting large-scale investment in the low-carbon economy.
HCR’s Housing Finance Agency continues to be the largest issuer of Climate Bonds globally, with 21 issuances totaling more than $2 billion in Climate Bonds to date. The latest funding builds on $736 million in Climate Bonds issued in 2020 by HCR to finance the creation of 3,141 affordable homes across 23 new developments.