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Debt & Equity

City buys distressed mortgages to preserve affordable housing

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer joined a number of non-profit organizations and financing partner Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group to announce the acquisition of 38 distressed mortgage notes via the City’s Community Restoration Fund (CRF) Program.

The mortgage notes, for one- to four-family properties in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, were acquired from the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) for $8.7 million through their Community Impact Pool (CIP).

Fannie Mae’s CIP provides not-for-profits, minority- and women-owned business enterprises, and neighborhood advocacy organizations the ability to bid competitively on mortgage notes being offered for sale.

“Nearly a decade after the financial crisis, too many hard working New Yorkers are still not out of the woods, with profound impacts not just on families, but on neighborhoods. The Community Restoration Fund works to stabilize communities and give struggling homeowners the chance to find firm footing once again,” said Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.

The CRF Program was established by HPD and several not-for-profit partners to facilitate the acquisition of distressed mortgage notes from mortgage lenders, and reposition these properties to preserve affordable home ownership and rental opportunities.

The CRF Program works to strategically acquire distressed mortgage notes in areas of the greatest need and attempts to reduce the negative economic and physical effects caused by distressed properties in foreclosure, as well as the consequential social
effects, while creating new affordable home ownership and rental opportunities for New York City residents.

“This is an important step toward addressing New York City’s affordability crisis,” said Congressman Joe Crowley. “Homeowners in Queens and the Bronx are still recovering from the Great Recession, and the Community Restoration Fund will help families stay in their homes. This is yet another example of how we can create a stronger community by investing in the financial future of all New Yorkers.”

Helping homeowners identify solutions – such as mortgage modification or refinancing – that allow them to remain in their homes is a primary outcome that CRF aims to achieve by providing proactive outreach and owner counseling to current at-risk homeowners.

In cases where these home-retention solutions are not attainable, CRF works to establish in-place rental outcomes where homeowners are income-qualified to stay in the same home or another within the portfolio. In cases where a defaulted homeowner cannot afford to stay in the home, CRF will work with its not-for-profit partners to provide alternative options that include relocation assistance.

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