Signature Bank has awarded grants totaling $500,000 to five community-based not-for-profit housing developers and managers.
Part of thebank’s Building Improvement Initiative, the money will help fund improvements to properties operated by Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association (Bronx), Fifth Avenue Committee (Brooklyn), IMPACCT Brooklyn, Southside United HFDC/Los Sures (Brooklyn) and Clinton Housing Development Company (Manhattan).
Called a Recoverable Grant facility the program allows property owners/operators to implement improvements that otherwise might not have been addressed until alternative resources became available.
These funds may be used for a single project or blended with other funds for a larger project with multiple funding sources. The funds also may be used for capital improvements and mechanical/equipment upgrades that will improve living conditions for tenants.
Signature’s loan portfolio (at year-end 2017) included $14.4 billion in multifamily loans, of which $11.5 billion, or 79 percent, were for properties located in New York City in census tracts designated as LMI.
Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph J. DePaolo, commented, “As a major lender throughout New York City, Signature Bank recognizes its responsibility to tenants and the communities in which it lends and through our community development efforts, has emerged a positive force in the community.
“In 2017 alone, the Bank provided financing for 1,284 units of supported housing (housing for the formerly homeless and 100 percent Section 8 Voucher recipients).”
Joe Restuccia, executive director of the Clinton Housing Development Company (CHDC), said, “While development is driving up rents in Hell’s Kitchen, CHDC is preserving 134 units of affordable housing at four locations in our neighborhood. CHDC appreciates Signature Bank being part of that critical effort.”
According to Harold DeRienzo, president of the Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association,in the Bronx, many of the group’s properties are in need of critical repairs, and the Signature grant will allow them to do major façade work at the 58-unit building at 1244 Westchester Avenue.
DeRienzo said, “This building is in a borough that is quickly gentrifying; one where average rents went up in the past year by 28 percent and now is at $2,000 or above per month. We thank Signature Bank for their support and leadership, which helps ensure our organization can continue providing affordable housing for our area’s most vulnerable, yet hard working, Bronx residents.”
Southside United HDFC — which has a portfolio of 36 buildings in North Brooklyn, will use the gran to fund two weatherization and boiler replacement projects.
The Fifth Avenue Committee will use the cash for its Renaissance projectto preserve deeply affordable housing in Brooklyn while IMPACCT Brooklyn’s money will be spent on preserve 136 units across 23 buildings in Brooklyn that are part of the Joint Ownership Entity (JOE).
The JOE is a partnership of local non-profits working to secure development opportunities.