Deal Closings Will Preserve Affordable Housing in Bronx

Enterprise Community Partners have closed two preservation deals, valued at about $33 million, helping more than 1,450 low-income families access affordable housing in the Bronx.

A building in the Lemle portfolio--one of the 47 buildings being preserved in the two deals.

Two preservation deal closings with a combined value of about $33 million have been announced by Enterprise Community Partners, a leading provider of development funds and know-how to rebuild communities and create affordable housing. The deals will help ensure more than 1,450 low-income families will continue to be able to access decent and affordable housing in the Bronx.

“These buildings are important because of the families that live in them,” Shola Olatoye, director of relationship management and deputy director for Enterprise Community Partners in New York City, tells MHN. “Enterprise has committed its resources and capital to help those families–and families all over the country–that face distressed, inadequate and unsafe housing.”

One deal, in which Enterprise partnered with developer Lemle & Wolff, is a $12.2 million acquisition loan designed to cover expenses associated with preserving almost 950 affordable units in 39 buildings within the Mott Haven and Melrose enclaves of the Bronx. In terms of units, it is the largest acquisition deal yet engineered by Enterprise Community Partners in New York City, and one of the largest the organization has handled across the nation.

The other, crafted in partnership with the Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation, is a $20.7 million equity deal to rehab 526 units without uprooting the tenants in eight West Farms neighborhood buildings. “The buildings will be receiving anything from elevator repairs to electrical upgrades,” Olatoye says.

“Some will receive systems replacements and upgrades, such as boiler and furnace replacements, and HVAC and other improvements.”

Interior improvements will include replacement of old appliances with Energy Star qualified products. “Here in New York City, all city-financed buildings must meet the Enterprise Green Communities standard, the country’s first green standard for affordable buildings,” Olatoye says.

The preservation efforts will help transform physically distressed buildings into clean, efficient housing boasting new infrastructure and systems, she adds. The work is designed to not only improve residents’ quality of life, but to ensure ongoing maintenance expenses linked with these older buildings are reduced. Construction is slated to start as early as this summer.

“It’s these types of transactions that make Enterprise’s work so important,” she adds. “We’re delivering capital to neighborhoods, fixing up and rehabbing buildings in need and ultimately meeting the mission [Enterprise founder] Jim Rouse established some 30 years ago.”

She credits the assistance of the city and key developers as instrumental to getting the deals done. “It’s a tremendous amount of leadership and support that comes from the city, from the mayor’s office to the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and also the city’s housing finance arm, Housing Development Corporation (HDC),” she says, adding the two developers taking part in the deals also deserve substantial credit.

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