$170M Pooled Refinancing Rehabilitates 1,000 Affordable Senior Housing Units

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorNew York–Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corp., the housing developer of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, in conjunction with Enterprise, the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) recently completed the full rehabilitation of 10 affordable senior housing buildings located in Brooklyn and Queens, New York.Rehabilitation of the buildings, most of which were built in the 1970s, was made possible by a $170 million pooled refinancing package. The buildings received upgraded boilers, security systems, intercoms, fire alarm systems and window replacements. The elevators were renovated and wheelchair accessible ramps are now in place at most locations. New automatic entrances and energy-efficient lighting have also been installed. “The rehabilitation and refinancing is so important because it not only helps to keep low-income seniors in their homes close to their families and neighborhoods, but it also allows the money saved as a result of the refinancing to be invested in expanded services for the residents,” Abby Jo Sigal, vice president and director of Enterprise, tells MHN. “This provides them convenient access to everything from health care services and social gatherings to on-site case workers.”The facilities were renovated with funds made available through HDC’s Section 202 Refinancing Program. By refinancing at a lower interest rate than the previously existing HUD mortgages, Catholic Charities’ monthly mortgage payments were reduced, freeing up money to pay for enhanced social services for residents of these buildings. Roughly 1,300 low-income seniors occupy the 1,000 housing units included in the 10 properties. “Many of the residents are elderly immigrants who wish to remain in their neighborhoods where they raised their families,” says Sigal. Forty percent of the units are affordable to individuals with incomes below $14,880, 55 percent are affordable to individuals with incomes below $24,800 and five percent are affordable to individuals with incomes below $39,680. The project is a key part of Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing in New York City over 10 years, the most ambitious municipal housing initiative in the country. Marc Jahr, president of the New York City Housing Development Corp., says, “As our senior population ages, the need for quality senior housing with expanded supportive services becomes all the more imperative.”