HDC And Ten Years of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan

The demand for rental housing in New York City is enormous. The net vacancy rate is slightly less than 3%; nearly 50% of all renter households pay more than 30% of their gross income for rent; and the demand for affordable housing among virtually every income strata other than the highly affluent is inexhaustible.

It is within that context of a growing population and an insatiable demand for affordable housing that, in 2003, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg launched his New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP). To realize the Plan’s ambitious goals, HPD and HDC developed a series of programs structured to draw upon the skills, expertise, and entrepreneurial energies of nonprofit and for-profit developers, as well as to tap the capital and sophistication of the City’s financial services industry.

As a result, over the last decade under the aegis of the NHMP, New York City has accomplished a remarkable feat—financing the construction and preservation of more than 144,000 units of affordable housing. Of those, HDC has financed more than 70,000 units, issued over $7.4 billion in bonds and drawn upon its net worth to provide more than $1.2 billion in ultra-low 1% interest loans to subsidize these projects. And that number doesn’t include the preservation of 20,139 of public housing units financed in 2010, the rescue of the overleveraged low-income 554-unit Milbank Portfolio, the refinancing of the 15,372 unit middle-income Co-op City development in the Bronx, or developments such as 8 Spruce Street, financed under the Liberty Bond program designed to aid in the revival of Lower Manhattan.

The Plan’s goal is not only to build and preserve desperately needed affordable housing but also to rebuild and stabilize communities throughout the City—to repair physically distressed older buildings and to preserve them as energy-efficient and ‘green’ affordable housing. The Plan also enables the construction of high-quality new buildings on vacant lots that blight neighborhoods, and otherwise depress real estate values and sap the morale of a community.

The Plan has promoted the creation of new, affordable homeownership opportunities for residents, and met a diverse range of rental housing needs. It’s created housing for the homeless, preserved and modernized existing moderate-income housing, and financed the development of housing for the elderly and for populations with special needs, recovering addicts, the mentally disabled, folks afflicted with AIDS, and others. The Plan has financed affordable housing for low-income and working class families, and it’s promoted mixed-income housing that offer rents that office workers, lawyers, accountants, teachers, cops and firemen, electricians, plumbers, sales people, and secretaries, and their families can afford.

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Our job, under the NHMP, is to encourage our partners to harness their self-interest to the larger interests of the community and the City. The notion that you can do good while doing well has animated the efforts of our partners. In this report you’ll read about some of the most notable developments of the past decade and hear from some of our partners, in their own words.

Marc Jahr Mathew M. Wambua

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