On October 26th, Women in Housing and Finance New York held our first event of the year, a zoom lunch and learn on the progress of NYCHA 2.0, or PACT which stands for Permanent Affordability Commitment Together.
In a sentence, the talk covered the financial and structural innovations in the restoration of 62,000 New York City housing units, presented by speakers Lovaeta Amoako and Jennifer Hiser of NYCHA, and Hannah Blitzer of NYCHDC. In context, NYCHA was created in 1935 to provide decent affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. It encompasses 170,000 units across 302 developments, and if it were a city unto itself it would be larger than Atlanta or Miami.
Most of the units have components that have far outlived their lifespan, and federal funding covers only a fraction of the costs of repair and maintenance. The PACT innovation is repairing the units and creating permanent housing through conversion of the units into the Section 8 program.
The PACT plan utilizes several financing innovations and has so far sent out 8 RFPI’s (requests for proposals of interest) or rounds, for bundles of apartment renovations. Financing has included the issuing of bonds, and debt through the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA programs among other innovations. Tax credits are not applicable. There is a requirement of 25% plus MWBE participation in the awarding of renovation contracts.
The zoom conversation covered the concerns of residents that any rights or responsibilities would significantly change. Leases and protections are being strengthened. One of many programs embedded is permanent training and employment of residents in the ongoing care of their developments. Another is the building of credit through rent payment. The hour “zoomed” by with a bounty of practical and inspiring information and closed with some B-roll of three handsome completed projects at Baychester, Twin Parks West, and Betances.
DUE TO THE TIMES WE FIND OURSELVES IN OUR PROGRAMMING AND ACCOMPANYING PRESENTATION DECKS ARE BEING PROVIDED for the first time ever VIA RECORDING:
By Karen Heller, VP Communications, WHF-NY