City Puts On Hold Controversial Home Seizure Program ‘Until Further Analysis’

Originally published in BK Reader on September 25, 2019.

Officials say Third Party Transfer Program may be outdated; residents say it erodes black homeownership, wealth

After months of embattled meetings, packed town halls and ongoing complaints by residents to elected officials, Third Party Transfer Program (TPT)— a citywide program that sells off “distressed properties” in foreclosure and turns them into affordable housing– may be getting a much-needed update.

New York City’s Department of Housing, Preservation and Development (HPD) that runs the TPT will be placing the controversial program on hold, “until a working group has finished investigating it,” said to HPD Press Secretary Juliet Pierre-Antoine on September 11.

Part one of our series on the growing problem of foreclosures in Brooklyn outlined the differences between deed fraud and the city’s Third Party Transfer program, the two biggest causes of home seizures in Central Brooklyn. In part two of our series on deed theft, we looked at the “Deed theft bill” introduced by State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, which aims to clamp down on fraudulent activities.

In this, part three, we look at where the program is now and the impact it has had on residents.

At a recent town hall on TPT held in Crown Heights on September 10, Sen. Montgomery stated what many of the residents have been echoing for years: The program is flawed, offering no restitution for property they’ve had in their family for decades and robbing them of generational wealth.

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