Saving Milbank

“A prime example of creative intervention by HDC and HPD for the benefit of working New Yorkers,” said Marc Jahr, “is the Milbank Portfolio. While not included in the NHMP tally of units, this group of 10 buildings is emblematic of HDC’s mission to help preserve existing affordable housing and keep it viable.”

Home to more than 1,000 Bronx residents, the buildings had been overleveraged and bought at an inflated price, saddling them with unsupportable debt that resulted in their falling into disrepair. When sold to a new owner, Deutsche Bank held $3 million in subordinate debt on the property. In 2011, HDC bought this debt for $1, then entered into an agreement with the new owner stipulating that if all necessary repairs were made in a timely manner, HDC would forgive the debt.

HDC and HPD worked with the North Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition and housing advocates, among other nonprofit partners, to keep the Milbank tenants engaged throughout the long renovation process.