The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) formally announced the selection of Camber Property Group, Henge Development, and SAA | EVI Development as the development team to deliver building and apartment upgrades for nearly 4,800 residents and more than 2,000 apartments at Edenwald Houses in the Bronx.
The selected partners will further engage with residents and continue to refine their plans for renovations over the next 12 to 18 months, with construction expected to begin in 2023. The Authority’s community planning process for the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program incorporated a resident review committee, which interviewed prospective development teams about the proposed building upgrades, management practices, sustainability and design features, and plans to enhance social services.
The selection of the PACT partners is an important step in the Authority’s commitment to meaningfully improve living conditions for NYCHA residents. Today’s announcement comes just a week after it was announced that Related Companies would take the reins at the Chelsea Fulton Houses in Manhattan under a similar deal.
This isn’t the first PACT agreement Camber has signed with the city. In 2018, the company partnered with L+M Development and the nonprofit MBD Community Housing to rehab the 722-unit Baychester-Murphy portfolio in the Bronx. In addition to the rehabilitation and new management of the developments, NYCHA will collects a portion of the developer fee, an asset management fee, and 50 percent of cash flow after payment of debt service. Existing Project-Based Section 8 contracts at the property were extended for a new 25-year term.
“The selection of this development team, and the process used for that selection, highlight the important changes NYCHA continues to make to improve the PACT program in partnership with its residents,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “The robust resident engagement and inclusion of both minority-led and minority women-led firms are further evidence of the benefits PACT can bring to NYCHA’s residents and the City at large.”
“NYCHA residents and stakeholders have seen firsthand how PACT improvements are helping to rehabilitate NYCHA developments, maintain tenant protections, and preserve affordable housing,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “Engaging residents around the changes and improvements they’d like to see in their communities is an essential part of this process – and we look forward to centering their voices in the latest iteration of this vital program.”
“I’m looking forward to Edenwald’s partnership with Camber Property Group, Henge Development, and SAA | EVI Development,” said Edenwald Houses Tenant Association President Walter McNeill. “In addition to the major repairs that will be coming to our development through this partnership, we’re looking forward to the reopening of our senior center which has been closed for several years. We’re also looking forward to the reopening of our laundry rooms, continuing with the resident watch program and increasing the capacity of our compactor yard.”
“Today’s announcement is an important step towards bringing comprehensive repairs and improvements, as well as much-needed social services, to nearly 4,800 NYCHA households. Partnering with the residents of NYCHA, as well as local nonprofits and MWBEs, is critical to the ongoing success of the PACT program and ensuring equitable outcomes,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “HDC looks forward to our continued work together to improve the quality of life for our valued public housing residents.”
“Our City’s public housing stock is one of the most vital resources in the mission to house low-income New Yorkers,” said Rick Gropper, Principal of Camber Property Group. “Our successful work at the neighboring Baychester Houses has given us considerable insight into the priorities of NYCHA residents, and we are ready to build on that positive experience. We are thrilled to collaborate with the residents of Edenwald and NYCHA in a community-minded process to renovate the complex and restore its status as a best-in-class home.”
“New York City’s public housing residents deserve quality, affordable homes they can be proud of. This partnership will allow for much-needed renovations at the Edenwald Houses—repairs and improvements that will make a significant positive impact on the everyday lives of residents—and we are proud to be a part of this effort. We look forward to working with NYCHA and our development partners, local stakeholders and the residents of the Edenwald Houses to rebuild their homes and help preserve affordability, as well as create economic platforms and opportunities that lead to more inclusion for some of our most valuable and creative New Yorkers,” said Ernst Valery, Managing Partner and President at SAA | EVI Development.
Established in 1953, Edenwald Houses is one of the oldest and largest public housing developments in the Authority’s portfolio, encompassing 40 residential buildings and more than 48 acres. The proposed rehabilitation scope will address the 20-year capital needs of the property while prioritizing resident preferences and investments towards healthy and efficient buildings within a resilient campus. The extensive modernization of the property will include improvements to the building envelopes, mechanical systems, and apartments while addressing resident priorities, such as a fully renovated senior center, laundry facilities, improved waste management, and exterior site improvements. The PACT team will also analyze the feasibility of increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in response to the NYCHA Sustainability Agenda and City mandates.
Over the last year, NYCHA briefed hundreds of Edenwald residents on the PACT program, the RFEI selection process, and how the Authority identifies partners best positioned to address areas of need. From there, a resident review committee was convened to work with the Authority to vet submitted proposals, assess their feasibility, and interview the development teams directly. The review committee’s perspective was invaluable in understanding resident needs and preferences across key issues such as priorities for repairs and investments, safety measures, and how to best activate public spaces, among other topics.
Responsible for more than two dozen rehabilitation projects in the New York Tri-State Area, Camber Property Group focuses on the development of affordable and mixed-income housing. The firm most recently oversaw the comprehensive rehabilitation of nearby Baychester Houses, which was completed in February of 2021. SAA | EVI Development and Henge Development are minority-led and minority, woman-owned firms, respectively, with several decades of experience managing multi-family housing redevelopment projects. Camber Property Group, Henge Development, and SAA | EVI will lead the project as co-developers; L+M Builders Group will be the general contractor; and C+C Apartment Management will be the property manager. In the coming months, NYCHA and the selected development team will work with resident leaders to select a non-profit partner, which will deliver enhanced social services and community programs.
The selected PACT team will use the Rental Assistance Demonstration program to transition operating subsidy to the Project-Based Section 8 program and finance the 20-year capital needs at the development. They will also be responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the development. NYCHA will continue to own the land and buildings, administer the Section 8 subsidy, set rents, manage the waitlist for vacant apartments, and monitor conditions at the development. With the development team now in place, NYCHA and its partners will continue to work closely with residents and tenant association leaders to plan and prepare for these historic community investments.
The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), New York City’s municipal Housing Finance Agency, is the financing partner for PACT. HDC will coordinate or provide loan financing funding by bonds issued through HDC’s Multi-Family Housing Bond Resolution (the “Open Resolution”) or the newly created Housing Impact Bond Resolution (the “Impact Resolution’), a bond resolution created solely to facilitate NYCHA transactions.
The PACT program has generated more than $1.7 billion in comprehensive apartment renovations and building infrastructure improvements to date for more than 9,500 households, with $1.2 billion in major upgrades underway and approximately $579 million in renovations that have already been completed. An additional 25,600 households are part of active development projects in the process of resident engagement or pre-development. In sum, NYCHA has more than 35,000 units completed, in construction, or in a stage of resident engagement or pre-development.