By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced last Friday that affordability has been preserved for 16,083 homes, including in Cooper Square and Co-op City. The city used low-cost preservation programs and tax exemptions to guarantee stability for families in 95 buildings throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
“We are facing an unprecedented crisis, and after we have defeated this virus and begin to pick up the pieces, we will need affordable housing like never before,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Locking in the affordability of these homes across the city will be crucial to ensuring stability for New Yorkers as we recover.”
HPD was able to secure affordability for 327 apartments across 21 buildings for the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association in the East Village, which is the oldest Community Land Trust in the city. HPD collaborated with the Office of the New York State Attorney General, which provided $1.5 million in funding that Cooper Square will be able to use to expand services for local senior residents. Affordability has been ensured at Cooper Square for the next 40 years as a result of the deal.
“We must do everything in our power to protect New Yorkers during these challenging times,” Attorney General Letitia James said. “Ensuring that thousands of New Yorkers can remain in their homes without additional financial stress will provide much-needed stability and reassurance in the face of this crisis.”
HPD’s Green Housing Program also provides financing for energy-efficient upgrades and renovations at Cooper Square include the installation of solar panels. Enterprise Community Partners has also provided funding for wrap-around services so that senior residents at Cooper Square will be able to age in place.
As part of the deal, HPD locked in affordability at Co-op City, the largest housing cooperative in the world, until 2052. The agreement also guarantees Co-Op City’s continued participation in the Mitchell-Lama program and the development will be getting accessibility upgrades thanks to $1 million in funding from City Council.
HPD also locked in affordability for more than 300 units in Brooklyn through tax exemptions. Affordability has been locked in for the next 30 years for tenants living in the 384-unit portfolio across eight buildings, where 50 units must remain affordable and 26 units will be set aside for the formerly homeless.
“I am pleased to see that New York City Housing Preservation and Development secured funding to ensure permanent affordability of 327 homes in the Cooper Square Community Land Trust, part of which sits in the 66th Assembly District,” Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick. “Even during an unprecedented time of crisis such as this, it is important to continue the steady work of building a society we can be proud of and that includes ensuring affordable housing.”