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2013 Award Winners

Multifamily Excellence Winners:

  • Arbor House Apartments in the Bronx — New York City Housing Development Corporation

Arbor House, a recently completed affordable housing development in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, is a symbol of ongoing efforts by government, nonprofits and progressive developers to rebuild and strengthen a community that has struggled since the late 60’s with rampant de-population, crime, blight and all the social issues that accompany such decay. The latest statistics from the NYC Housing and Vacancy Survey (2008) indicate a poverty rate of over 45% with 91% of the population listed as "families that rent”. The prominent racial/ethnic groups of this community are Hispanics, that make up over 60% of the population and Blacks who make up approximately33%. The collaborative efforts of the City’s three largest housing agencies, NYC Housing Development Corporation(HDC), NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and The NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA), reflected in the structure of the land acquisition, the development plan and financing, have made this uniquely sustainable development possible.

Arbor House, located at 770 East 166th Street at Tinton Avenue was completed in January of 2013 and is currently renting up. The new development was constructed on land within the NYCHA Forest Houses complex that the developer purchased at below market value from NYCHA for approximately $1.2 million. The 8-story, 124 unit affordable housing development totals over 120,000 square feet. There are 16 studios, 33 one-bedroom units, and75 two-bedroom units, including 1 two-bedroom apartment reserved for a superintendent. All of the apartments have been designated for low-income households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), or$49,800 for a family of four at time of marketing. Twenty-five percent, or 31 units, of the total units have a preference for NYCHA residents and those on NYCHA’s waitlist. In addition, there is a 20% set-aside, or 25 units, for formerly homeless families. There are also 43 sub-level parking spots available on site. Residents have first priority to rent these spaces on a monthly basis.

The total development cost for Arbor House was approximately $27.7 million. HDC provided $19.5 million in taxexempt bonds during construction which will leverage $12.8 million in 4% as-of-right low-income housing tax credits.HDC also provided $8 million in corporate subsidy and HPD contributed $7.4 million in City Capital funds. New York State’s investment includes $2.5 million through Homes & Community Renewal’s (HCR) Homes for Working Families(HWF) program and $160,000 provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority(NYSERDA) through its Multifamily Performance Program. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and City Council Member Helen Foster jointly contributed nearly $2 million in City Reso A funds. The low-income housing tax credits were syndicated by RBC Capital Markets with J.P. Morgan Capital as tax credit investor. Bank of New York Mellon credit enhanced the HDC bonds during construction.

One of the most innovative aspects of Arbor House is its state of the art rooftop hydroponic farm. The cost of this unique roof top addition was structured to be included in tax credit basis which in turn raised equity to help cover its cost. The farm will be operated by Sky Vegetables, an urban agriculture company based in Boston. Sky Vegetables will oversee a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) arrangement in which residents can purchase shares in what gets produced. Sky Vegetables will make at least 40% of the produce available to the community through local outreach to schools, hospitals and markets.

 Arbor House has been nationally recognized for its sustainable design and energy efficient attributes. It has received LEED Platinum certification and National Green Building Gold rating. Building construction primarily used local and recycled products and 95% of construction waste was recycled and diverted from landfills. In addition to the extensive green elements of this development, the building meets NYC Active Design Guidelines to promote physical fitness and reduce obesity through indoor and outdoor fitness areas and by encouraging stair use. As such, Mount Sinai Hospital has selected Arbor House for a study on the effect of healthy living on asthma and obesity.


Single-Family Excellence Award Winner:

  • HomeSaver/Hardest Hit Fund Initiative — District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency

In 2011, the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (HFA) announced the availability of over $20 million in foreclosure prevention assistance for unemployed and underemployed District residents struggling to pay their mortgages. The HomeSaver Program is a part of the U.S. Treasury’s Hardest-Hit Initiative to assist states with above average unemployment.

"The District welcomes this generous initiative that gives homeowners a chance to stay in their homes, while avoiding foreclosure. The Hardest-Hit Fund Initiative offers our residents an opportunity to withstand the effects of a down economy by providing relief to the unemployed,” said Executive Director Harry D. Sewell. Director Sewell further states that through this partnership with the Obama Administration, the District of Columbia Hardest-Hit Fund will keep District families out of foreclosure while adding stability to the housing market.

HFA and its partners developed a comprehensive, citywide strategy that is most beneficial to District homeowners. The plan aims to assist up to 1,000 unemployed District homeowners who are experiencing unemployment and are at-risk of foreclosure. Available program components will include: Lifeline Payment Assistance, Mortgage Payment Assistance, and Restore Payment Assistance.

  • Lifeline Payment Assistance – one-time payment of up to three (3) months mortgage delinquency (PITIA);
  • Mortgage Payment Assistance – up to fifteen (15) months of mortgage payment assistance equal to 100% of the mortgage payment (PITIA);
  • Restore Payment Assistance – one-time payment of up to six (6) months of delinquency to "catch-up” mortgage payments. Borrower has been recently re-employed and has sufficient resources to continue making timely mortgage payments.

As of March 7, 2013, over 1100 homeowners applied for the program and the HFA has an 86% approval rate. In addition, more than 50% of the program funds were committed to assist District homeowners, over $10 million. Working with the five approved housing counseling agencies and many public/private partners, the HFA will continue to promote the HomeSaver Program and we all forward to program’s continued success.


Redevelopment Excellence Award Winner

  • Eden Village I and II/ City of Refuge Women and Children’s Assessment Center — Invest Atlanta (Atlanta’s Development Authority)

FEED MY LAMBS is a welcome solace for homeless women and women with children living at Eden Village I and II Assessment Center. In 2003, a warehouse on an eight acre tract was donated to the City of Refuge Ministries. The warehouse is located on Joseph E. Boone Boulevard 2.5 miles from downtown Atlanta in the heart of a neighborhood that continues to face tremendous challenges and where the need for relief from crisis is acute. The project is a conversion and rehabilitation of 210,000± square feet of warehouse storage space in two single-story brick buildings. The buildings were constructed in 1958 and formerly operated as the Don Swann food distribution warehouse. The City of Refuge, Inc. took ownership of the property in 2004 and with the partnership of public and private funding, Eden Village provided a place of refuge for homeless women and children. On December 1, 2009, the City of Refuge in partnership with the City of Atlanta hosted the Grand Opening for Phase I and on July 1, 2010, celebrated the Grand Opening for Eden Village II.

City of Refuge Women and Women with Children Assessment Center is a residential service center for homeless women and women with children. Through the collaboration with community partnerships, the program provides individualized supportive rehabilitative services to residents that nurture self-sufficiency, independency and reintegrates the residents into the community. The Supportive Service network provides residential services, individualized professional case management and 24/7 crisis intervention. Residents are assessed and participate in the development of their service plan. They also have access to financial management/budgeting, life/job training skills, health and wellness workshops, information, referral services, child care, recreational activities and resettlement assistance.

Eden Village I and II consist of 232 Assessment Beds for homeless women and children, a day care facility, community meeting room, central laundry facility, kitchenettes, counseling rooms, service provider office, general meeting rooms, fitness room, business computer center with internet access, afterschool program for children, indoor playground and immediate access to mass transit. Eden Village also has a 180 Degree Kitchen in support of the Minority Business Enterprise Opportunity Program. The 180 Degree Kitchen is a culinary arts training program and catering business for at risk minority students which provide trade skills and employment for approximately 190 students per year.

City of Refuge, Inc. is a nonprofit origination with a mission to bring strength, hope and light to Atlanta’s last, lost and least. It is devoted to serving homeless women and children and adding value to their neighborhood. City of Refuge is committed to supporting Atlanta’s Homeless Action Plan to End Chronic Homelessness in Ten Years. Eden Village I closed September 2008 and Eden Village II closed May 2009. Invest Atlanta awarded $2,121,505 in Grants to Eden Village I and II through Homeless Opportunity Bonds with an additional $300,000 in Supportive Services Grant. United Way donated $240,000, private donations contributed $456,056; Malon D. Mimms contributed $150,000 and $74,800 in fundraising resolution by City of Refuge, Inc. Board of Directors. Through letters of commitment and partnerships from Atlanta Metro Food and Farm Network, Hope Atlanta the Programs of Travelers Aid, City of Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, Commission on Homelessness, Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services, Human Services Department and United Way, City of Refuge continue to work on the frontlines of poverty moving the homeless off the streets and into environments that are safe, cultivate self-esteem and skills necessary to take steps toward independent living.


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