16 Brooklyn Families Save Their Building from Foreclosure, Habitat for Humanity New York City Provides a Life-Line

Originally published in The Stockhouse on August 20, 2020.

Grit and tenacity of the residents of 2178 Atlantic Avenue HDFC pays off as a $893k Fresh Start Loan from the Habitat NYC Community Fund stabilizes the building after decade-long fight to keep their homes.

BROOKLYN, N.Y., Aug. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, The Habitat NYC Community Fund (Community Fund), a subsidiary of Habitat for Humanity New York City (Habitat NYC), announced the successful preservation of 2178 Atlantic Avenue HDFC (the HDFC) – home to 16 Brooklyn families. The Community Fund, a federally certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), announced today the closure of a Fresh Start loan that provided the critical financing necessary to save the building from foreclosure and bankruptcy.

"Through our expanded work in housing preservation, we have been able to play an integral role in supporting this community's fight to save itself," said Chris Illum, Executive Director of the Habitat NYC Community Fund. "For the multiple generations who call 2178 home, the multifaceted support of technical assistance, debt financing, and pro-bono legal has helped provide a stable foundation for the future of 2178 Atlantic Ave HDFC."

In partnership with the residents, Brooklyn Law School, and Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, which represented the HDFC on a pro bono basis in its bankruptcy case, the Community Fund provided $893,000 in financing for 2178 Atlantic Avenue, a 16-unit not-for-profit membership co-op in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The predatory actions by a land speculator and some previous failures at multiple government agencies put the building at grave risk of loss to the market, making the units unaffordable for the 16 multi-generational families who call the building home.

"Habitat for Humanity New York City's commitment to 2178 Atlantic Ave HDFC was simply life changing! After months of facing multiple obstacles and challenges, we were literally weeks away from losing our property," said Earline King, President of the 2178 Atlantic HDFC. "Habitat NYC stepped in and provided the financing which allowed us to keep our home. Three generations of families are forever grateful."

The HDFC incorporated in 1980 with the support of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) as a Homesteader building. The City of New York granted the building a 20-year tax abatement at the completion of the renovation and co-op conversion. 

To read the full article, click here.