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Banking and Finance

First Downpayment Assistance deal closes in the Bronx

Settlement Housing Fund (SHF) has purchased the first property to be sold under the city’s new Downpayment Assistance Fund.

1415-1417 Wythe Place in the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Bronx, will be renovated and its 58 unregulated apartments preserved as affordable as part of the city’s new Neighborhood Pillars Program.

“In the midst of an affordability crisis, preservation is one of the most effective tools we have to assure families that they can continue to afford living in their homes and communities,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll.

“The Neighborhood Pillars Program relies on dedicated non-profit and mission-based organizations with deep community ties to protect affordability and fortify the city’s existing housing stock.”

Supported by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), and Wells Fargo, the Neighborhood Pillars program was launched in December 2018. The program helps nonprofits and mission driven organizations acquire and preserve buildings. It includes a Downpayment Assistance Fund, construction and permanent financing through HPD and HDC.

The Fund allows for technical and financial assistance to be used by qualified non-profit organizations as a down payment or deposit on a contract to acquire properties and cover limited pre-acquisition costs.

1415-1417 Wythe Place was acquired by Settlement Housing Fund with the intent to pursue financing for the rehabilitation of the property, building upgrades, and the preservation of all 58 apartments.

To date, HPD has facilitated the acquisition of five projects intended for the Neighborhood Pillars Program. These projects contain a combined total of approximately 10 buildings with a combined total of 339 apartments. The average rehabilitation investment needs is approximately $44,000 per unit.

Fifty percent of the 339 units will be permanently affordable.

The first non-profit acquisition to use the Neighborhood Pillars Downpayment Assistance Fund, 1415-1417 Wythe Place, is a five-story walk-up building that was constructed in the early 1920s.

Planned renovation work will likely include upgrades to the building’s electrical systems, installation of a new roof, and repairs to the façade and floors.

CPC originated an Acquisition Fund loan in the amount $10.3 million to assist SHF and will work with SHF to provide permanent financing and funds for renovation through a Fannie Mae Multifamily Affordable Housing loan.

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