July 21, 2003
MARTINEZ, PATAKI AND BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCE $50 MILLION AFFORDABLE HOUSING INITIATIVE IN LOWER MANHATTAN
Hundreds of Working Families Will Have a New Place to Call Home
300 affordable housing units will be produced in Lower Manhattan as part of
a comprehensive redevelopment plan in the wake of the September 11th terrorist
attacks against the World Trade Center. Housing and Urban Development Secretary
Mel Martinez, Governor George Pataki, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the announcement
today at Thomas Paine Park in Manhattan.
"President Bush and I have pledged to do all that we can to bring stability, restore prosperity, and enhance the livability of Lower Manhattan neighborhoods," said HUD Secretary Mel Martinez. "We have an important opportunity here to help families find affordable places to live. HUD grants continue to improve housing opportunities in Lower Manhattan by attracting new residents and encouraging others to stay."
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) will provide a $50 million grant for subsidies providing affordable housing tied to the Liberty Bond program, jointly administered by the New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA) and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC). The grant will fund affordable units for moderate-to middle-income working families in the income range of approximately $50,000 to $85,000.
"Having a safe, affordable place to call 'home' is part of the American Dream, and something every New Yorker should have the opportunity to achieve," Governor Pataki said. "This program will make it easier for hundreds of hard-working New Yorkers who want to settle downtown find an affordable place to live, build a bright, stable future for their families, while simultaneously rebuilding and revitalizing Lower Manhattan."
Manhattan's residential renaissance is integral to my Administration vision
for Lower Manhattan, as well as our plans to create or preserve 65,000 units
of housing over the next five years," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
"Affordable housing is fundamental to New York City's long-term economic
prosperity and today's announcement demonstrates that in these difficult budget
times, the City has found innovative news ways of funding our efforts housing.
The investments we are making today will help to create the kind of Lower Manhattan
we want - a vibrant and diverse 24/7 community for people to live, work and
play in. We're the 'World's Second Home'- the magnet for people from around
the world who want to build better lives for themselves and their families,
and what better place to do that than Lower Manhattan. I want to thank Governor
Pataki, HUD Secretary Martinez, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
for their continued dedication to the housing component of the revitalization
of Lower Manhattan."
The New York Liberty Bond program is a joint City-State initiative that provides tax-exempt private activity bonds for the construction and renovation of commercial and residential facilities. The bonds provide incentives for developers to continue the expansion of the residential market in Lower Manhattan by making construction and/or permanent mortgage loans available for residential rental projects located within the Liberty Zone. The Liberty Zone is the area located on or south of Canal Street, East Broadway (east of its intersection with Canal Street), and Grand Street (east of its intersection with East Broadway). Approximately 398 units have been approved for Liberty Bonds and over 5,000 units are in the pipeline.
Since September 11th, HUD has announced more than $3.4 in direct assistance to New York to help local businesses recover from the disaster; to provide residential assistance grants to encourage tenants to remain or locate in Lower Manhattan; and, to begin the work of redeveloping the area. To date, the Empire State Development Corporation (EMDC) and the LMDC have submitted four plans totaling nearly $1.4 billion to spend this funding. Today's announcement adds an affordable housing component to the overall strategic plan.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.