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City looks to get owners on board with homeless plan

The city is offering financing to owners and developers as part of its newest initiative to help house the homeless.Homeless man holding sign

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced the release of Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for its new Property Pathways initiative.

The initiative works to identify privately-owned properties throughout the city with a large share of vacancies that can be converted into safe, secure permanent housing and be immediately occupied by formerly homeless and other vulnerable households.

“In order to make real changes for homeless New Yorkers, we must seize every opportunity to create more affordable housing. With our new Property Pathways initiative, we’re letting owners and prospective buyers know that creating long-term solutions for those struggling with homelessness is a top priority, and must continue to be a joint effort,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll.

“I thank my team at HPD for their work to find new, creative pathways to serve New Yorkers in need.”

“New housing is among the most crucial tools we can deploy as we fight a citywide affordability crisis and address the challenge of homelessness, decades in the making,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Banks.

“This announcement will build on our progress at DSS-DHS-HRA helping more than 133,000 New Yorkers secure permanent housing, either exiting shelter or avoiding shelter altogether, through our Social Services programs, including the rental assistance and rehousing programs that this Administration rebuilt from scratch upon taking office. We look forward to connecting more New Yorkers experiencing homelessness with these valuable resources in order to help them get back on their feet.”

Property Pathways will provide financing to owners of vacant or partially vacant buildings with a minimum of 10 units to redevelop their buildings into permanent housing for homeless and vulnerable New Yorkers.

At least 50 percent of the units in the identified buildings will be set aside for homeless households, supportive households, or a mix of both populations referred from City shelters through an HPD-approved process.

Projects going through this RFEI will be expected to select a service provider to assist formerly homeless households transition to affordable permanent housing. The remaining 50 percent of units will be income-restricted and go through HPD’s marketing process.

The initiative will also help prospective owners acquire vacant properties that they can redevelop into affordable housing through HPD programs like Neighborhood Pillars, which provides low-interest loans and tax exemptions to nonprofits and mission driven organizations.

Respondents to the RFEI must demonstrate a successful history of managing and renovating occupied residential buildings, and show that there is no prior history of tenant harassment.

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