New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been announced that HPD is issuing its Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) Request for Qualifications (RFQ).
The M/WBE RFQ is part of Building Opportunity, HPD’s multi-pronged initiative aimed at increasing opportunities for M/WBEs to compete to participate in HPD-supported development projects.
Though this RFQ, HPD will evaluate and compile a roster of pre-qualified M/WBE developers with the necessary experience and capacity to develop, maintain, and manage high-quality affordable housing.
“Our goal is to leverage the dollars we spend to lift up working families as we build and renew the next generation of affordable housing. Ensuring M/WBEs have every opportunity compete and secure City business is good for our housing programs and good for our neighborhoods,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen.
“Building affordable housing while promoting the growth of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises is a key component of Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York plan,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been.
“Strengthening our pool of highly qualified M/WBEs not only creates a more diverse industry, it promotes community development by helping local businesses succeed. This RFQ, in combination with the other prongs of our Building Opportunity initiative offer M/WBE developers a chance to learn industry best practices, gain valuable experience, and access the resources they need to grow and prosper.”
HDC President Gary Rodney added, “The city’s affordable housing plan is based on a neighborhood approach, and our development efforts should help to build the capacity of local developers in the communities we serve.
“Building Opportunity is helping to level the playing field by addressing some of the key issues that have been barriers to success for M/WBEs.”
Legislation introduced by State Senate Housing Chairwoman Cathy Young and State Assembly Housing Chairman Keith Wright, which was signed into law by the Governor on November 21, now enables HPD to designate a specific pipeline of development projects to be competitively solicited to pre-qualified M/WBEs.
The M/WBE RFQ will allow HPD generate the pre-qualified roster of M/WBEs that will be able to compete for those development projects.
Candidates responding to the RFQ must be certified M/WBEs who have the experience and capacity required to develop, maintain, and manage multifamily affordable housing.
“As the sponsor of this bill in the State Assembly I am excited about the new wave of opportunities that will be created for M/WBEs. In order to preserve the health of our state and local economies, it is critical that we use every opportunity to advance sensible and inclusive public policies that ensure minority participation,” said Assemblyman Keith Wright.
In addition to applying for this program, eligible M/WBEs will have the opportunity to seek loans from the New York City Acquisition Fund which will work in parallel with the program to provide qualified M/WBE developers with low-cost financing for affordable housing development projects.
HPD will accept applications for the M/WBE RFQ through March 20, 2015.
“We are delighted that HPD supports deserving M/WBE real estate firms, pleased that NYREC assisted HPD by advocating for this legislation, and thrilled to continue our partnership with HPD to leverage the considerable capabilities of our seasoned members going forward,” said Gordon Bell, chairman of the board of New York Real Estate Chamber, Inc., a trade association for M/WBE real estate developers.