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Bolting Up Ceremony for 1880 Boston Road Senior Apartments

02.27.2017


"Breaking ground" at 1880 Boston Road Senior Apartments.

On February 10th, 2017, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, Foxy Management, and Alembic Community Development held a ‘bolting up’ celebration for 1880 Boston Road Senior Apartments – a project that will create  supportive and affordable housing on top of the building currently in existence  (hence the ‘bolting up’ instead of the traditional ‘groundbreaking’). This project is the first of Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) awards to begin construction in New York City. Of the 168 total units, 51 units will be set aside for homeless and frail seniors.

The celebration was both star-studded and beautifully turned out, with giant black and white drawings of the future residence adorning the walls as well as a huge cake decorated with earth movers, accompanied by gold shovels with which to slice it!

NYS Senator Ruben Diaz opened the program, praising the project for filling an acute need. NYS Assembly Member Luis Sepulveda specifically commended the partners for creating housing that was “truly affordable.”

Council Member Rafael Salamanca presented Jeff Fox of Foxy Management a large check for Reso A money in support of the project. Recently appointed HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer was also on hand noting that, “this project helps complete part of the Mayor’s plan to build and preserve affordable and senior housing.”

Daniel Reingold of Hebrew Home at Riverdale spoke of how his agency created the first shelter for victims of elder abuse in the nation. He commented on the severity of the problem and said, “We are proud to be able to offer services to 51 formerly homeless seniors who may have suffered at the hands of another person. We are so happy to partner with Alembic and Foxy Management on this great project.”

1880 Boston Road Senior Apartments is a collaboration between NYCHA, NYS HDC, NYC HPD, NYC Council Member Rafael Salamanca and TD bank. Services will be funded by the Department of Health through an ESSHI award.  NYCHA contributed 168 Project Based Section 8 Vouchers, targeting seniors earning no more than $19,000 per year. HDC contributed $37.8 million in bond financing along with $9.2 million in subsidy. HPD’s SARA program was included in the financing as well. TD Bank provided a $38 million dollar credit enhancement. Council member Salamanca gave $728,000 in Reso A money to the project. Raymond James was the tax credit syndicator, architects were SLCE. The GC was Lendlease.

| What's New, New York City, Groundbreakings


Stephan Russo Departs Goddard Riverside Community Center

02.24.2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Executive Director Stephan Russo stepped down from his position at Goddard Riverside Community Center (“Goddard”) at the end of the year, succeeded by Dr. Roderick Jones, formerly the President and CEO of Grace Hill Settlement House in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to his eight years at Grace Hill, Dr. Jones served as President and CEO of the Community Place of Greater Rochester.

Except for a stint at the NYC Department of Homeless Services, Mr. Russo spent his entire career at Goddard Riverside, starting as a youth worker in 1976 and becoming Executive Director in 1998. Under his leadership, Goddard significantly expanded its programming to vulnerable children, youth, and adults. Mr. Russo oversaw mergers with two other settlement houses. He was also honored as one of the founders of the supportive housing movement at the Network’s awards Gala last year.

The Network’s Executive Director Laura Mascuch said, “Stephan has a deep connection to his community where he is loved and admired. I had the privilege of working for him at DHS and witnessed his steadfast nature when combatting the homeless crisis, never wavering in his commitment to serving those in need. While we’ll miss Stephan, we are excited to work with Dr. Jones as he takes the reins at Goddard.”

| In the Media, What's New, New York City, Member News


A Glorious Residence Breaks Ground on East 172nd Street

02.23.2017


Breaking ground at 111 East 172nd Street.

On February 22, 2017, Community Access held a glorious groundbreaking ceremony for their new 126-unit building at 111 East 172nd Street. Upon completion, the building will include 57 affordable two-bedroom apartments, 8 affordable studio apartments and 60 studio apartments for tenants referred by the New York State Office of Mental Health.  Community Access’ long-time Director of Real Estate Maggi Knox attended the festivities with a heavy heart – this will be her last groundbreaking before retirement. 

Boasting a wide range of health-focused amenities, the residence will provide on-site social services by Community Access staff with OMH funding. Free Wi-Fi, two large community rooms, a collaborative kitchen for integrative cooking and nutrition, 24-hour front-desk security and a large backyard with Community Access’ first urban farm will offer residents many ways to cultivate a strong community, centered on holistic health and recovery. The backyard will host a hoop house and raised planting beds, as well as a playground and outdoor exercise area for children and adults.

Community Access’ CEO Steve Coe welcomed the crowd, thanking Deputy Chief  Executive Director Cal Hedigan, Director of Housing Mark Jennings, and the project’s architect Peter Woll, who also designed Community Access’ first building in 1984. Mr. Woll noted the positive health impact of the residence evident throughout…from  Community Access’ pet adoption program, to the presence of a bicycle-powered smoothie-machine, pumping out healthy delicious smoothies for guests!

Board Member Diane Louard-Michel stated that East 172nd Street is “taking supportive housing to a whole new level, bringing low-income New Yorkers home, hope and futures.”

Newly-appointed  NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas spent her second day on the job at the groundbreaking, citing the supportive housing model as “an investment that grows and strengthens communities.”

Molly Park, Deputy Commissioner for Development at NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development, warmly congratulated the entire team, remarking that the unique residence is “both housing and a farm.”

Brett Hebner of the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance praised the dedication of Community Access -  from concept to closing  -  in all of their projects, as well as the high level of investment from  the City and State—an investment “unmatched anywhere in the country.”

Kristin Miller, Director of the NYC Metro Region Office of CSH, reminded the crowd of the importance of site acquisition, which is the first step in a supportive housing financing deal. She applauded the MRT units as “housing as healthcare.”

Director of Citi Community Capital Bill Yates thanked all development partners for their amazing teamwork, particularly Mr. Coe and Ms. Knox.

The program closed with remarks from Community Access tenant Roshelle Rosa. Surviving a car accident sixty years ago, Rosa lost her ability to work, lived through domestic violence and eventually ended up on the streets. She thanked Community Access for lifting her up and providing her with a space to thrive. She has greatly benefited from their Pet Access Program, and now spends her days with the love of her life, a four-year-old Shih Tzu named Elvira.

The $52 million project is funded by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the New York State Office of Mental Health and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development. Major funding was also provided by a grant from Citi Community Capital, and tax credit financing syndicated by Richman Housing Resources, LLC, with Citi Community Capital as the sole investor. The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority also provided funding for the project. The general contractor is Mega Contracting Group.

| In the Media, What's New, New York City, Groundbreakings


Maria Torres-Springer Appointed as Commissioner of HPD

01.31.2017

Maria Torres-Springer has been appointed by Mayor de Blasio to serve as the new HPD Commissioner. Ms. Torres-Springer comes to HPD after working on neighborhood planning and the development of public sites as President and CEO of the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) since June 2015, and prior to that, leading the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) as Commissioner.

In a statement, Ms. Torres-Springer said, “Having grown up in Section 8 housing, I know first-hand that the work we do is a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of families. Housing is the top expense for New Yorkers, and for far too many rising rents threaten their ability to stay in the city they love. I’ve spent my career helping people secure better jobs with better wages, and developing neighborhood projects that provide affordable homes and economic opportunity. Vicki leaves big shoes to fill, but I’m honored to have a chance to keep up the record-breaking progress she’s achieved.”

As head of NYCEDC, Ms. Torres-Springer was responsible for transforming Spofford, a former juvenile detention center in the Bronx, into a hub for the arts and affordable housing, and has been the de Blasio administration’s lead in developing the Downtown Far Rockaway Neighborhood Plan, which included more than $90 million in neighborhood investments and affordable housing to serve both the lowest-income New Yorkers and the middle class. At SBS, Ms. Torres-Springer spearheaded initiatives to raise wages and expand skill-building in workforce placement programs, and streamline the regulatory environment for small businesses. Ms. Torres-Springer began her career working in affordable housing with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, where she was involved in re-zoning and housing projects.

The Network welcomes Ms. Torres-Springer to her new position and looks forward to working together.

| In the Media, What's New, New York City


What so many get wrong about homelessness

01.26.2017


New York City Council Member, and Chair of the General Welfare Committee, Stephen Levin at the hearing.

“This doesn’t just happen to those people,” said Jennifer Garris. “Anyone can become homeless.”

Ms. Garris has a Masters degree and was a special education teacher for 24 years. But after her husband passed away, she struggled with depression and alcohol use. Soon, she became homeless.

This is a familiar story across the country. No one wakes up and decides “today is the day I become homeless.” People lose stability to the unexpected—medical emergencies, sudden layoffs, or an untreated mental health condition. Yes, access to housing is essential to address our homelessness crisis. But housing alone cannot get everyone back on their feet. Some individuals need support to move forward.

Today, Ms. Garris is no longer homeless. She lives at The Schermerhorn, a supportive housing residence in Downtown Brooklyn. The Schermerhorn provides more than affordable housing. It also offers case management, and substance abuse and mental health counseling. Other programs taught Ms. Garris about money management, community building, and self empowerment. “They teach you how to live again,” she said.

As a New York City Council Member, and Chair of the General Welfare Committee, I am a fierce advocate of supportive housing. At its core, supportive housing is affordable housing combined with on-site resources. These supportive services help individuals overcome the challenges that left them chronically homeless. Experts agree that supportive housing is an effective way to address homelessness. This is especially true for those with mental health and substance use issues.

More than just a place to live, supportive housing is about community. In Fort Greene, Brooklyn Community Housing and Services provides community space for residents. Neighbors organize baby showers, quinceañeras, neighborhood meetings, and even weddings and funerals.  Executive Director Jeff Nemetsky said "The tight-knit community of supportive housing residences cannot be underestimated."

Supportive housing is the way forward. However, the need far exceeds the supply. In New York City, for every person placed into supportive housing there are four more people waiting. The statistics are sobering. There are over 60,000 homeless individuals in the Department of Homeless Services shelter system. Thousands more are in specialized shelters for youth, survivors of domestic violence, and those with HIV/AIDS. These figures do not include individuals living on the streets. If we are to make progress reducing homelessness, we must be aggressive.

That’s why I co-chaired a joint hearing on supportive housing on January 19th with Council Member Jumaane Williams of the Housing and Buildings Committee. Participants included a wide range of stakeholders including the City agencies connected to supportive housing -- HRA, HPD, and DOHMH, supportive housing tenants, advocacy organizations, community board chairs and supportive housing providers. Ten Council Members also took part in the half-day hearing.

"We truly appreciate the Councilmembers’ decision to hold the hearing in a supportive housing residence—because quite frankly, seeing is believing,” said Laura Mascuch, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York. “Our hope is that Council Members came away with a clear idea of the enormously successful model of housing-plus-services and its transformative impact both on the lives of the formerly homeless people who live there as well as the neighborhoods in which it’s built.”

Housing experts came together to share plans on expanding supportive housing. Through the NYC 15/15 Initiative, New York City has committed to build 15,000 units of supportive housing in 15 years. Additionally, the City will put in place 23 recommendations from Mayor de Blasio’s Supportive Housing Task Force.

Much of the supportive housing in New York City has been developed through joint collaborations between the City and State. These are known as the NY/NY agreements. New York City has committed to invest in new units.  The State has yet to fully deliver on a year-old promise to invest $2 billion in supportive housing. The failure to establish a new NY/NY agreement is a casualty of the politics between New York City and the State. In the meantime, tens of thousands of individuals and families are waiting for shelter.

Enough waiting. We know what works. The evidence shows that supportive housing is one of the best tools we have to address the crisis of homelessness. Let’s provide for our most vulnerable neighbors and set them on a path to long-term stability.

| What's New, New York City


Vicki Been, Commissioner of HPD, Departs de Blasio Administration

01.23.2017

Vicki Been, Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, will step down by January 31, 2017 to return to New York University as faculty director of the Furman Center.

Network Chair William Traylor said, "For all of her terrific quant and analytical skills, Vicki's greatest legacy will be reorienting HPD's focus to the impacts that affordable housing has on communities and within the lives of the families and individuals that call the housing and these communities home." Been was honored at the 2014 annual Network Awards Gala as our Government Partner of the Year.

Maria Torres-Springer, President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, will replace Been. Torres-Springer formerly served as Mayor de Blasio's first Small Business Services commissioner.

Laura Mascuch, the Network’s Executive Director, said, “Vicki has been a steadfast champion of supportive housing throughout her career and we have been very lucky to have her heading up HPD for these last three years. Her contributions to the Mayor's ten year housing plan will mean that thousands of the most vulnerable New Yorkers will have homes in the coming years. She has been a terrific partner to the Network and our members -- her ability to work at the micro and macro level has been invaluable.  She will be greatly missed at HPD but we very much hope to continue working with her in her new role.” 

Mayor de Blasio, in a statement, said, "With her signature brand of grit and grace, Vicki created and implemented our ambitious affordable housing plan. She is a brilliant public servant and law professor, and her students are lucky to have her back."

Under Commissioner Been’s guidance, HPD closed financing on 41,652 new apartments and preserved another 20,854 over three years, putting Mayor de Blasio ahead of schedule for his goal of building and preserving 200,000 apartments for low- to moderate-income tenants. Been played a key role during the Mayor’s initiative to require more below-market-rate housing from developers benefiting from city re-zonings. This regulatory change, termed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, joined an ambitious rewriting of NYC’s 1961-era zoning code to eliminate roadblocks to residential development. The City Council voted to in favor of both of these changes in March 2016.

Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground said, “It's impossible for me to express how invaluable Vicki's support has been to Breaking Ground, our programs and clients during her tenure as HPD Commissioner. I could always count on Vicki's thoughtful, patient counsel to help my colleagues at Breaking Ground realize complex affordable housing developments for our community's most vulnerable and we've time and again seen her give the same counsel to many other peer nonprofits in the supportive housing industry. Countless thousands of New Yorkers are living secure, productive lives in the five boroughs as a direct result her outstanding leadership. We cannot thank her enough for this commitment to New Yorkers in need and to New York City.”

| What's New, New York City


Tribute to Gina Quattrochi

01.18.2017

Gina Quattrochi, Bailey House CEO and lifelong HIV/AIDS advocate, passed away December 13, 2016 from complications due to cancer. During the 25 years she led Bailey House, Ms. Quattrochi played a key role in transforming the organization into an innovative leader in HIV/AIDS care and supportive housing.

Ms. Quattrochi became the Executive Director of the AIDS Resource Center in 1991, after serving six years on the Board, and in 1995 changed the name of the organization to Bailey House in honor of Bailey Holt House, the first supportive housing residence for people living with  HIV/AIDS created by the organization in 1986. Housing was Ms. Quattrochi’s passion and her imprint was immeasurable. She was instrumental in working with the City to develop the funding streams for both scattered-site and congregate supportive housing and she helped garner the research irrevocably linking homelessness to the incidence of HIV infection. She was among the first to introduce the notion that housing is healthcare.

Bailey House’s Senior Vice President of Housing Resources and Development Jeannette K. Ruffins said, “Gina was a tireless advocate for social justice and client rights." 

Charles King, President and CEO of Housing Works, said “Gina is a hero in the fight against AIDS…and a driving force behind the development of supportive housing standards in New York State and her national advocacy for housing as an affordable intervention.”

Ms. Quattrochi was former president and a long-term member of the board of directors of the National AIDS Housing Coalition. She was appointed to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's Ending the Epidemic Task Force in 2014. Ms. Quattrochi  also served on the Harlem Hospital Community Advisory Board, the Board of Directors of the Ryan White Integration of Care committee, the Board of Directors of iHealth NYS, and the Board of Directors of the Supportive Housing Network of New York.

Fittingly, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene called out Ms. Quattrochi’s lifelong contribution to the cause dedicating the NYC AIDS Memorial on World AIDS Day, less than two weeks before her passing,

Ms. Quattrochi was a force of nature and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with her friends, family and the larger advocacy community.

| What's New, New York City, Member News


Is Selling Air Rights a Viable Option for Your Nonprofit?

01.10.2017


Breaking Ground's Prince George supportive housing residence.

The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD) Inclusionary Housing Program (IHP) preserves affordable housing in neighborhoods where there have been zoning changes to encourage new development. The IHP consists of two programs:

Voluntary Inclusionary Housing Program (VIHP), enacted in 1987, enables a development to receive a density bonus in return for new construction, substantial rehabilitation, or preservation of permanently affordable housing.

Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program (MIHP), enacted in March 2016, requires a share of new housing in medium- and high-density areas that are rezoned to promote new housing production—whether rezoned as part of a city neighborhood plan or a private rezoning application—to be permanently affordable.  

The sale of air rights in an area where the Voluntary Inclusionary Housing Program (VIHP) is applicable (R-10 Districts, IH Designated Areas, and Special Districts), can generate substantial revenue for an organization that owns a building in one of these areas. 

HPD’s VIHP applies to  new construction, substantial rehabilitation and preservation projects. Until November 2015, the definition of preservation was limited to rehabilitation work on the building selling air rights, mainly replacement or repair of capital elements. Now, the definition of preservation has been expanded to include:

  • The cost of deep rent skewing;
  • Rental assistance to low income tenants;
  • Reduction or elimination of existing debt to the extent necessary to preserve affordability;
  • Reduction or repayment of existing HPD subsidy to the extent necessary to preserve affordability;
  • The fair market value of the generating site. In determining the fair market value, HPD will consider whether the generating site or owner is subject to any affordability restrictions and the term of such affordability restrictions and;
  • With HPD’s approval, the creation, rehabilitation, or preservation of additional affordable housing in accordance with HPD term sheets.

Breaking Ground’s Prince George Hotel is the first Voluntary Inclusionary Housing Preservation project to be approved since the VIH program was revised in 2015 to include preservation (read the full press release here). According to Louise Carroll, Associate Commissioner of Housing Incentives at HPD, “It took time to get the inclusionary bonus and sale proceeds in sync.” She explained how lining up an interested buyer for the air rights and ensuring that the proceeds will be available for the approved preservation purposes is a complex dance where timing of all the steps is critical.  Breaking Ground, despite extensive experience in property development, decided to hire an outside construction manager to oversee the project.

HPD recently launched a new IH map that allows users to locate Inclusionary Housing projects (called generating sites) that contain permanently affordable IH apartments as well as sites that have received IH floor area from generating sites (called compensated developments) across the City.  The map helps developers with properties in an inclusionary area who are interested in pursuing this type of project see where there is an active market for air rights.  It will also help developers determine if a market is oversaturated.

Another critical step is lining up local support for the project.  Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground, recalled, “Upfront outreach to the community board was essential. They were unanimously supportive because we took the time to engage deeply.”

In order to raise capital to renovate an affordable building, an organization can check to see if they have available air rights by calling HPD. If a building in an inclusionary zone has air rights available for sale, they can work with a broker to sell those to a developer who wants to build beyond what the zoning allows in that community board. Once there is sufficient revenue for the construction work, the organization can close financing on the project and get approval to start construction. Once a regulatory agreement is signed with HPD, the buyer of the air rights can seek permits to begin construction on the bonus part of their project. Once HPD approves the renovation work and the affordable housing owner has completed the renovation, the buyer can get the Certificate of Occupancy for the bonus portion of their project.

Sound complicated? It is.

The potential benefits are substantial, as are the risks. To find out if your building can participate in the VIH Preservation Program, the best place to start is by looking up your site on ZOLA, City Planning’s zoning and land use application or by calling the Inclusionary Housing Program at HPD , and let them guide you through the process. As construction costs increase and land becomes scarcer, affordable and supportive housing owners must explore every available resource at their disposal.

| What's New, New York City


Press Conference Announces Task Force Recommendations for Mayor’s NYC 15/15 Initiative

12.15.2016

On December 12th, the Mayor’s Office held a press conference at Breaking Ground’s The Schermerhorn announcing the recommendations of the Supportive Housing Task Force and awards to 11 organizations to provide 550 new scattered site supportive housing units as part of the NYC 15/15 Initiative, his commitment to creating 15,000 units of supportive housing over the next fifteen years.

Council Member Steve Levin said "Supportive housing is the linchpin in addressing homelessness among those with the most challenges,” He also took the opportunity to exhort other communities to embrace new supportive housing residences saying “I could not be more proud to have The Schermerhorn in my district -- it has transformed this community and I hope to have many more residences like it in the future.”

Department of Social Services Commissioner Steve Banks presented both the recommendations and the awards. The recommendations distill the six months of work by more than 28 experts in the field to identify issues in key aspects of supportive housing, including the referral process, development, and delivery of services.

“The collective expertise of this group has provided invaluable insights into how to better serve the most vulnerable in our city.” Also introducing the recommendations was Network Executive Director Laura Mascuch who co-chaired the task force with Commissioners Banks and HPD Commissioner Vicki Been.

The contracts to develop the 550 supportive housing units were awarded to Breaking Ground; Bridging Access to Care, Inc.; CAMBA Inc.; Odyssey House, Inc.; Federation of Organizations; Jericho Project; Unique People Services, Inc.; Faces NY, Inc.; Iris House; Urban Pathways, Inc.; and Institute for Community Living, Inc.

The populations targeted for these units are chronically homeless single adults and adult families who have a serious mental illness or substance use disorder, including those who may have a co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorder.

“We are delighted to see progress being made toward realizing the Mayor's promise of creating 15,000 units of supportive housing over the next 15 years,” said Ms. Mascuch. “The recommendations released today reflect the best thinking of the supportive housing community, including nonprofit providers, government partners, and researchers. These recommendations will help the City design the next generation of what has been the most promising intervention yet developed to help the neediest New Yorkers live in dignity in our communities.”

The Task Force spent six months assessing the current state of programs and providing innovative solutions to improve development and service delivery, streamline processes, and better tailor services to the needs of supportive housing residents.

Among the recommendations issued by the Task Force are:

  • Target units to three broad populations – adults, families, and youth – and incorporate a vulnerability index that will allow the City to identify and prioritize supportive housing to target those most in need.
  • Implement a holistic family approach to deliver comprehensive services to the entire family.
  • Create supportive housing options for youth that are not time limited and use the Moving On model to help young adults transition to independent housing.

For a copy of the report click here.

| In the Media, What's New, New York City


NYC Programs Help Buildings Go Green

11.18.2016


Volunteers of America's Creston Avenue residence is considered "ultra-green."

The City of New York has several green building programs that will help with the City’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels (80x50). These programs support tenants, superintendents, building owners and decision-makers from every demographic and nearly all building sizes to make building improvements to reduce GHG emissions while generating cost savings and preserving affordability. Taken together, these programs are now working with owners and decision-makers of more than 3,800 buildings representing more than 8 percent of the built square footage across New York City, and these numbers continue to grow. To get started, contact the NYC Retrofit Accelerator. Their experts will connect you to the resources and program like the ones below that make sense for your building and support you throughout your energy or water retrofit.

The NYC Retrofit Accelerator offers free, personalized advisory services that streamline the process of making building energy efficiency improvements that will reduce operating costs, enhance tenant comfort, and improve our environment.  The NYC Retrofit Accelerator’s team of Efficiency Advisors should be your first step to creating an energy and water efficiency plan that best suits your building’s needs.  For more information contact the NYC Retrofit Accelerator at NYC.gov/RetrofitAccelerator, info@nycretrofit.org, or 212-656-9202.

Community Retrofit NYC is a complementary program to the NYC Retrofit Accelerator, designed to support small and mid-sized building owners in central Brooklyn and southern Queens to pursue energy and water retrofits. The team works with owners through every step of a retrofit process, from identifying opportunities for saving, to connecting to incentives, to helping select a contractor for a project. Contact Community Retrofit NYC at info@communityretrofit.org or call (347) 762-4792. Learn more at nyc.gov/communityretrofitnyc.

The NYC Benchmarking Help Center (BHC) supports large buildings owners annually reporting their energy and water use under the NYC Benchmarking Law, and will begin helping owners of buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to comply by 2018. The BHC provides one-on-one guidance, presentations, trainings, and other resources. In order to prepare building owners, the BHC will also conduct extensive outreach in advance of the deadline. Contact the BHCquestions@benchmarkinghelpcenter.org, and 212-566-5584.‎

NYC Building Operator Training is a no-cost, 30-hour training program for small-to-mid-sized multifamily buildings, which can improve the skills of operations & maintenance staff and help save up to 20% in energy costs. The training covers critical building systems (heating, electrical, and water) with an emphasis on preventative maintenance and energy efficiency. The program is planned to be launched in late 2016 and will have multiple classes available in locations throughout the City in 2017. Learn more and apply at www.cunybpl.org/opstraining

The NYC Carbon Challenge for Multifamily Buildings is a voluntary leadership program, recognizing and promoting residential property management companies that commit to reduce GHG emissions across selected buildings in their portfolios by at least 30 percent by making cost-saving energy efficiency improvements. To date, 20 New York City based residential property management firms have committed to the Challenge, pledging to reduce the GHG emissions from over 900 multifamily buildings over ten years. For more information on joining the Carbon Challenge, visit www.nyc.gov/carbonchallenge or email CarbonChallenge@cityhall.nyc.gov.

HPD’s Green Housing Preservation Program assists small- and mid-size building owners finance energy efficiency and water conservation measures, along with moderate rehabilitation work, through low- and no-interest loans. The Program strives to help owners undertake improvements to reduce operating costs and keep rents and/or maintenance affordable. For more information, please click here.

DEP, in collaboration with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is offering a discount on water and sewer rates for eligible HPD or HDC-assisted affordable multifamily housing projects. Eligible projects can receive a $250 credit per residential unit on their fiscal year 2017 water and sewer bill(s) on a first-come, first serve basis as enrollment is limited.  In order to qualify, buildings must: have average collectible rents or maintenance fees that are affordable to households earning up to 60% of the area median income; have an executed and recorded regulatory agreement with HPD or HDC that restricts 100% of residential units with at least 15 years remaining; all buildings charged on the MCP rate must be compliant with MCP’s conservation criteria; all buildings must be in good standing with the City by demonstrating current payments or payment plans with DEP and the Department of Finance. For further information and to download the application please visit www.nyc.gov/hpd/water.

Utilities also have resources and incentives that can help you finance your energy retrofit.

The National Grid Direct Install Multifamily Program – Long Island, Brooklyn, parts of Queens, Staten Island provides gas and water efficiency measures to residents of properties with 5 or more units with eligible National Grid gas accounts in that utility's NYC and Long Island service territories. Residents get: free high-efficiency showerheads; free water saving aerators and showerheads (in buildings with eligible National Grid gas accounts) to save the building money on its water bill and domestic hot water heating. If feasible, the property may also receive free installation of thermostatic radiator valves ("TRVs") to improve the distribution of heat among the apartments. Call 800-427-6318 to find out if your gas-heated building is eligible and to apply for these free energy saving measures which are installed by the Association for Energy Affordability, National Grid's implementation vendor. For more information about National Grid multifamily energy efficiency incentives, call Vince Perez at 718.292.6733 ext. 8251. 

Con Edison has renamed its multifamily program, which is now called the Consolidated Multi Family Program (CMFP).  The program is now open to multifamily properties of 5 or more units.  Network members with larger buildings that were not eligible for the original Multifamily Energy Efficiency Program may wish to enroll their buildings under the expanded CMFP program. Affordable Housing properties with eligible Con Edison firm gas accounts can get: free air sealing; free boiler tune-ups, up to 10 free LED light bulbs installed per apartment; free water saving aerators and showerheads (in buildings with eligible Con Edison gas accounts) to save the building money on its water bill and domestic hot water heating; free thermostatic radiator valves ("TRVs") in apartments (in buildings with one-pipe steam where installation is feasible); “custom” efficiency measures not included in the program's list of prescriptive incentives (with an approved custom measure assessment); free common area lighting and electrical measures  - only for properties served by Con Edison networks in targeted demand management areas (such as the “BQDM” area of Brooklyn and Queens). For more information, email Marta Bell at the Association for Energy Affordability, Inc. or call her at 212-279-4307.

| What's New, New York City


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