FY 97 Homeownership Zone
New York City, New York
AMOUNT OF AWARD:
Homeownership Zone Grant — $4,654,500
NEW HOMEOWNER UNITS:
121 three-family homes (all new construction)
HOMEOWNERSHIP ZONE SITE:
The Mount Morris Homeownership Zone (HOZ) is a 184 acre area in Harlem, in northern Manhattan. It is bounded by 125th Street on the north, Park Avenue on the east, 116th Street on the south, and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard on the west. It is located within the Harlem Empowerment Zone. At the time of the Homeownership Zone designation, the area had experienced significant disinvestment, abandonment and blight. Nevertheless, the area also had numerous strengths including its many community organizations and institutions, Marcus Garvey Park's recreation facilities, accessible public-transportation and the Mount Morris Park Historic District.
The City used its HUD Homeownership Zone demonstration grant to subsidize the development cost of 121 newly constructed three-family row houses on land that had been previously acquired and cleared by the City. Each house includes one owner-occupied duplex and two rental units, resulting in the creation of 121 new homeownership units and 242 rental units. The rental income enables low-income families to afford homeownership in this high-cost area. The Homeownership Zone activities were designed to significantly reduce the area's remaining vacant sites, increase homeownership and support other ongoing investment in the area. The four Homeownership Zone developments — Malcolm Shabazz Homes, Fifth Avenue Homes, Mount Morris Homes and Madison Park Homes — reflect the rowhouse style and architectural elements that are typical of the historic houses in the area. Other developments in the Homeownership Zone area include new commercial development, rental housing, cooperative housing, and senior housing.
|Homeownership Zone Grant
|City-owned Land Value
|City Article 16 Funds
|New York City Housing Partnership
||Public-private Development Partnership
|Malcolm Shabazz Development Corp.
||CDC Sponsor (Shabazz Gardens)
||CDC Sponsor (Fifth Avenue Homes)
|East Harlem Council of Human Services
||CDC Sponsor (Mount Morris Homes)
|El Barrio Fight Back
||CDC Sponsor (Madison Park Homes)
|The Bluestone Organization
||Developer (Shabazz Gardens)
|The Briarwood Organization
||Developer (Fifth Avenue Homes)
|A&F Community Builders
||Developer (Mount Morris Homes)
||Developer (Madison Park Homes)
|Chase Community Development Corp.
|Bank of New York
Since the inception of the Homeownership Zone, the entire Harlem area has resurged economically. The Homeownership Zone project successfully spurred private development activity by demonstrating that there was a pent-up demand for homeownership housing. The federal grant significantly leveraged other funds. The Homeownership Zone funding enabled low-income households to afford homeownership in this exploding real estate market. Fifty-three percent of the new homebuyers qualified as low-income and the rest had incomes that did not exceed 120 percent of the median income for the area. $32.6 million in private mortgages was approved for these new homebuyers. The public downpayment subsidies will be forgiven over 25 years. Nearly every vacant lot and property in the area has been redeveloped. City-owned vacant units decreased by 90 percent. Private investment substantially increased. Felonies declined by 50 percent. Housing prices have nearly tripled.
- The City used a streamlined land-use review procedure, UDAAP.
- Requiring project managers to maintain detailed tracking reports and conduct ongoing field visits to monitor progress and identify problems as they occurred.
- Establishing key contacts with senior staff in other City agencies to remove processing obstacles and expedite permit approvals.
- Completing private property acquisition early in the process, in order to assemble buildable parcels before property prices escalated and prohibited the development of affordable housing.
- Cure builder punch-list items before permitting occupancy of the new homes by the homeowners.
- Develop more stringent provisions for recapture of appreciation upon resale; unanticipated exploding real estate values resulted in potential wind-fall profits for owners who sell.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS:
- 2000 Builder Magazine "Builder's Choice Merit Award" for Malcolm Shabazz Gardens
- 2001 HUD Secretary's "Best in American Living Silver Award for Excellence" for Fifth Avenue Homes