A Look Back at 2016

As the year draws to a close, we wanted to share some of HCR’s 2016 highlights and accomplishments:

  • For the third year in a row New York will break the state record for affordable housing production by financing the creation or preservation of more than 17,000 homes. 

  • New York is again the #1 housing bond issuer in the nation with more than $2.5 billion issued to create affordable homes statewide.

  • HCR's Unified Funding housing round awarded more than $122 million for affordable housing in urban, suburban, and rural areas of New York. The awards are set to build or preserve nearly 2,000 affordable apartments and leverage more than $450 million in public and private resources.

  • Governor Cuomo announced the $22 million Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) to finance the purchase and renovation of up to 500 foreclosed and abandoned properties for low- and middle-income New Yorkers. 

  • New York became the first state in the nation to secure international certification of nearly $100 million in new Green Bonds to drive the development of housing that has a positive impact on the environment and climate.

  • The Fair and Equitable Housing Office (FEHO) partnered with nonprofits across select regions of the State to uncover discrimination in home rental and sale transactions.

  • The Tenant Protection Unit (TPU), along with the NYS Attorney General’s Office, filed its largest civil litigation to date against a Manhattan management company and others for allegedly seeking to improperly evict rent-regulated tenants through frivolous litigation.

  • Every month, the Office of Rent Administration (ORA) employees answer roughly 11,000 telephone calls; 800 email inquiries; and help over 3,000 walk-in visitors.  

On behalf of everyone at HCR, we wish our partners and friends a Happy New Year and looking forward to working with you in 2017!

A Year At a Glance
  Workforce Housing and Community Revitalization
HCR, The Community Builders and the Municipal Housing Authority of Yonkers celebrated the opening of  188 Warburton  in September 2016. The development is the second phase of a six-phase initiative aimed at redeveloping the Cottage Place Gardens public housing complex and revitalizing Southwest Yonkers. 
HCR received a  2016 New York State Historic Preservation Award for Eastman Gardens in Rochester. Formerly the Eastman Dental Dispensary, the neglected institutional building was repaired and updated for residential use. 

The more than $20 million development includes 43 affordable apartments and 9 market rate apartments for seniors and individuals with physical disabilities. 
In June 2016, HCR announced a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Small Business Program award to help Platter’s Chocolates expand, grow business, and add jobs in North Tonawanda.
HCR, ESD and partners celebrating the opening of Bellamy Commons, a restored former warehouse on Buffalo's East Side that will feature 30 low-income apartments and the Buffalo Black Achievers Museum. 
In December, Governor Cuomo announced more than $700 Million in economic development funding in the sixth round of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. 

The announcement included more than $25 million in NYS Community Development Block Grant funds that will create 125 jobs and update infrastructure to improve quality of life for more than 50,000 people around New York.

The announcement also included more than $6 million in New York Main Street (NYMS) funds for the renovation of 77 residential units and 85 commercial spaces in downtowns and mixed-use business districts throughout New York State. The NYMS program funds will leverage additional investment exceeding $10.5 million.

New Affordable Homes with Supportive Services
Supportive Services for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
HCR and the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) joined Living Resources, Regan Development, and The Community Preservation Corporation in May 2016 to announce the opening of Lion Heart Residences in Cohoes. This new $16.4 million  development has 72 affordable homes for working families, as well as apartments with supportive services for people with developmental disabilities. 
Healthier Communities
In September 2016, HCR celebrated the groundbreaking of a new $156 million, mixed-use complex, developed in partnership with L+M Development Partners, Hornig Capital Partners and NYC's HPD. 

The St. Barnabas Wellness Care and Affordable Housing project  will create 314 affordable homes for low-income residents and incorporate more than 50,000 square feet of health and wellness space designed to help reduce Medicaid costs and avoidable hospitalizations.  
New Homes for Veterans
In October 2016, HCR, the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) and HELP USA, announced the start of construction of  47 affordable apartments for low-income families and formerly homeless veterans in Buffalo.

The $13 million HELP Buffalo II consists of two new buildings and renovation of an historic three-story building, near downtown, that will be accessible to several bus lines and rail transit.
Housing for the Formerly Homeless
In February 2016, HCR and partners dedicated the Herkimer Street Residence in  Brooklyn, featuring 53 apartments for low-income individuals and formerly homeless adults recovering from mental illness. For those who were formerly homeless, Herkimer Street Residence provides access to supportive services, amenities, and an active community.

In April 2016, Governor Cuomo announced the start of construction on a $22.3 million affordable and supportive housing development for low-income and formerly homeless individuals in Troy.

Tapestry on the Hudson will feature 67 homes for low-income and formerly homeless individuals. The project involves the renovation of the former Wilbur, Campbell, & Stephens Co. Factory built in 1899 along the Hudson River.

Making Communities Greener and More Sustainable

In 2016, Governor Cuomo convened 10 regional Conferences on Sustainable Development and Collaborative Governance. Commissioner Rubin moderated panels at the conferences including a panel on resiliency at the  Long Island conference in September. 
In 2016 New York became the first state in the nation to secure international certification of nearly $100 million in new Green Bonds to drive the development of housing that has a positive impact on the environment and climate. The $100 million is expected to create more than 640 green, affordable, supportive apartments in counties around the state. 
Increasing Homeownership

The State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) continues to make homeownership affordable for first-time homebuyers. In 2016, SONYMA programs made it possible for 1,890 first-time homebuyers to own their home, a 33% increase over 2015.

In 2016, SONYMA expanded partnerships with nonprofit homeownership counseling agencies, adding partners and increasing opportunities to prepare people across New York for successful homeownership. 

In 2016, Governor Cuomo announced the $22 million Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP), to finance the purchase and renovation of up to 500 foreclosed and abandoned properties for low- and middle- income New Yorkers.

NRP home purchases allow qualified low- and middle-income buyers to receive up to $20,000 in additional funds for home improvements with zero interest and no increase mortgage payments through SONYMA

The Affordable Homeownership Development Program promotes homeownership for low- and moderate-income individuals and families and stimulates the development, stabilization, and preservation of New York communities.

In 2016, the Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC) made 58 awards totaling $38 million to create or preserve homes for more than 1500 families.  

Mobile and Manufactured Homes Replacement Program

In 2016, New York launched a $2 million pilot program to address the prevalence of older, dilapidated mobile and manufactured homes and preserve an important source of affordable housing in New York.     

The Mobile and Manufactured Home Replacement Pilot Program assists homeowners in removing and replacing dilapidated mobile or manufactured homes with new, energy efficient manufactured, modular or site built homes. 

Protecting Tenants
Formed in 2012 by Governor Cuomo, the Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) continues to proactively preserve affordable housing, enforce rent regulation laws, and protect the rights of rent-regulated tenants. Through the TPU, the State has returned over 55,000 apartments to rent regulation and more than $3 million in overcharges to tenants to date. In 2016, the TPU referred several investigations of landlords in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx for criminal prosecution.  
In May 2016, a Manhattan landlord that the TPU referred for criminal prosecution was indicted on charges of Grand Larceny, Criminal Tax Fraud and Falsifying Business Records – one of the largest indictments of a single landlord to date
This year, the TPU also recovered two of its largest total overcharges at a single property, returning more than $250,000 in rent credits to tenants unknowingly overcharged at a development in Brooklyn.
Fighting Housing Discrimination

In 2016, Governor Cuomo launched HCR's Fair Housing Enforcement Program to uncover discrimination in home rental and sale transactions and ensure compliance with state, federal and local fair housing laws.

HCR’s Fair and Equitable Housing Office, partnered with nonprofits in Central New York, Western New York and the Lower Mid-Hudson to send trained testers across select regions of the State. 

  Affordable Housing Lotteries   
325 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn

The Modern, 130 Mount Vernon Avenue, Mount Vernon 

NYS Homes and Community Renewal | www.nyshcr.org