Forwarding: City Teams Up with M/WBE Developers to Create 400 New Affordable Homes

City Teams Up with M/WBE Developers to Create 400 New Affordable Homes 

HPD and HDC partner to close three affordable housing deals prioritizing New Yorkers in greatest need, all three projects are made possible without the use of direct City subsidy 

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) announced the financing of three new affordable housing developments that will spur the construction of 400 deeply affordable homes in Brooklyn and the Bronx and create thousands of jobs. 

All three deals will be led by Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) development teams and were made possible using a non-traditional financing structure without deploying direct City capital, helping the City to continue delivering on its commitments to create more affordable housing despite budget limitations due to COVID-19.  

 “A new reality requires a fresh approach, which is why we’re deploying new financing methods that will deliver stability for countless families in an extremely uncertain time. Despite the funding challenges that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to champion the people of this city by providing affordable housing for those who need it most, and empowering our Minority and Women-Owned business partners to further drive economic equity in our city,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I thank the talented team at HPD and HDC, as well as our deep bench of dedicated development partners for their ongoing efforts to create a fairer, more affordable New York.” 

“At a time when our city faces unprecedented challenges, we continue to come together, think creatively, and use every tool we have to serve New Yorkers hardest hit by the pandemic,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “These latest developments will help to build more affordable and inclusive communities, cultivate valuable partnerships with minority and women owned businesses, and foster economic growth through job creation. Thanks to HPD and the development teams for their work on these important deals, which will help to fortify our City as we navigate the ongoing economic and health crisis.” 

1921 Atlantic Ave – A joint venture between M/WBE developers Thorobird and Dabar Development, this 236-unit affordable development will serve extremely low-, very low-, low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers. The project plans to bring a grocery store and community facility space dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship, housing assistance, healthcare and the arts to the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn.  The development team was selected through HPD’s Building Opportunity Initiative, which empowers M/WBEs to lead development of 100% affordable housing on City-owned sites. 

461 Alabama Avenue – M/WBE developer CB Emmanuel Realty, in partnership with nonprofit organization Services for Underserved (SUS), will transform a 10,000 square-foot lot in Brooklyn into a 71-unit supportive housing development, serving formerly homeless and low-income households. SUS will provide on-site supportive services for the homeless residents. The building will feature a recreation room, a landscaped courtyard and rooftop for resident use. This project was also selected via the City’s Building Opportunity initiative.  

Victory Commons –M/WBE developer Exact Capital is partnering with the Victory Baptist Church to build 95-units of affordable housing development in the Bronx. All homes will remain permanently affordable to low-income New Yorkers and supportive services will be provided for formerly homeless households. The development also features a church sanctuary and offices, a multi-purpose space, and parking.  

As the City takes critical measures to conserve capital to respond to the immediate health care needs resulting from the pandemic, HPD has creatively partnered with HDC to bring these affordable housing deals to fruition without drawing down on a limited capital budget. HPD and HDC collaborated to move forward as many projects as possible using alternative financing strategies that involve the substitution of HDC subsidy and reallocation of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, which remain the most valuable federal tool for the creation of affordable housing.  

The City will continue to maximize affordable housing production and preservation in a constrained budgetary environment by leveraging federal and City resources and creative partnerships to stretch every dollar. This approach allows the City to continue to build upon the record number of homes financed in previous years under the de Blasio Administration, which continue to become available for lottery as they near completion on the revamped Housing Connect website. 

The City is prioritizing projects that serve seniors, homeless households, and the lowest income New Yorkers, and remains on track to achieve the Mayor’s plan to build or preserve 300,000 affordable homes by 2026. With more than 165,000 homes financed to date, the City is more than halfway toward achieving its goal. See a complete summary of the City’s affordable housing numbers here.  

“In spite of the tremendous difficulties we face in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must remain committed to creating and maintaining affordable housing, especially for New Yorkers who are homeless or have very low incomes. In fact, COVID-19 has made access to a safe and secure home more important than ever,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Chair of the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development. “I applaud Louise Carroll, Eric Enderlin, and the teams at HPD, HDC, and the MWBE firms who are leading these projects, for forging ahead, investing in New York’s future, and producing new, deeply affordable homes at this critical time.” 

“These housing developments will create thousands of meaningful jobs and offer hope and opportunity to hundreds of our most vulnerable families and individuals,” said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee. “At a time when our city’s economy has been devastated by COVID-19, it is especially gratifying that the city has chosen to pursue creative financing solutions and empower Minority and Women Business Enterprise teams to build housing units that will mean stability and hope for so many.”  

“While we fight to protect tenants during this pandemic, we cannot forget that there was already a housing crisis before COVID-19. 100% affordable developments that serve very low-income New Yorkers are rare and still desperately needed by my constituents. I am very excited to welcome this project to my district and so pleased to see the city is partnering with M/WBE developers,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. “I thank HPD and HDC for finding a way to get this done at a time of great economic uncertainty in our city.” 

“I applaud the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) as they spearhead the development of new affordable housing in Senate District 19. The 71 units of affordable housing to be built at 461 Alabama Avenue is a step in the right direction,” said State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud.  “Moving this project forward, financed without city subsidy and led by M/WBE developer CB Emmanuel Realty is a remarkable achievement.  This housing project will bring stability to the lives of previously homeless individuals and low-income households.  Additionally, having on-site supportive services for formerly homeless residents is necessary for them to remain on the path to recovery and to assist them in maintaining a stable lifestyle and retain independence in a safe and secure living environment.” 

"At a time when economic insecurity is at an all-time high, I am thrilled to see such a strong commitment to creating truly affordable housing and providing supportive services for low-income families in my district in the Bronx and across the City," said State Senator Luis Sepúlveda. "By partnering with MWBE’s and creating innovative financing plans, this project will provide housing for hundreds of New York families and create countless jobs within those communities. I thank HPD, HDC, and their development partners for continuing their efforts to provide affordable housing in New York despite budget restrictions due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic." 

"This is an example of how we are stronger together. Announcing this initiative during a pandemic demonstrates a commitment to our community" said Assembly Member Latrice Walker. " I want to applaud the HPD, and New York HDC for bringing these projects to fruition. The community needs these housing options and these housing complexes will further our collective goal of stabilizing the community of East New York. Minority and women-owned companies should not be the exception, but should be the rule. There is enough business for all of us." 

"We are incredibly excited that The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York City Housing Development Corporation will be constructing 400 affordable homes between Brooklyn and the Bronx" said Assembly Member Michael Blake. "Not only will these projects be led by the Minority and Women Business Enterprise development teams, but it will create thousands of jobs that are so vital for the economic rejuvenation of families in our community.  The devastating effects of COVID-19 in communities of color has inordinately impacted our families and we welcome the housing and employment opportunities that the Victory Commons project will bring." 

Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., said, “The challenges of this moment only reinforce the need for City action to create more affordable housing. That is why this HPD and HDC partnership to create 400 affordable homes is so important. Acting proactively, engaging M/WBE’s, and building affordable represent the kind of policy New Yorkers need right now. I salute HPD and HDC’s action to help keep our shared communities whole.” 

“CBE is honored to have been designated MBE developer on this project and are excited to have closed this deal under extraordinary circumstances,” said Chris Bramwell, Managing Partner of CB-Emmanuel Realty, LLC.  “We'd like to thank Mayor DeBlasio for providing this opportunity under the MWBE RFP process back in 2015 and for consistently advocating for MWBE involvement in development.  A special thank you to CM Inez Barron and BK CB 5 for their interest and support throughout the ULURP process.  We look forward to continuing to serve East New York with this mixed-income project.” 

“We are thrilled about this transformative project, which is only being realized because of the tremendous efforts of HPD, HDC, and our partners, as it will deliver high quality affordable housing, as well as, health-centered amenities empowering the community with a significant organic grocer, urban aquaponics and agricultural education space, and a skills-based training facility, all of which will improve the quality of life for the tenants, community and greater Brooklyn,” said Managing Principal of Dabar Development Partners Dawanna Williams. 

“The creative financing of 1921 Atlantic during Covid-19 while advancing opportunities for MWBEs is a phenomenal model for our nation” said Managing Member at Thorobird Companies Thomas R. Campbell.  “We thank HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll and HDC President Eric Enderlin for their vision and creativity in pushing this through.  We thank City Councilwoman Alicka Amprey-Samuel, Community Board 3 Liaison Henry Butler and the many community members who have worked to ensure real community impact.  We thank Maurice Coleman and the team at Bank of America, The Richman Group and Enterprise Community for amazing partnerships.  We are proud and looking forward to help creating affordable homes for those that need it most.”