Photos of the newly completed developments are available here.
NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) announced the completion of two major rehabilitation efforts: first, Baychester and Murphy Houses by Camber Property Group, L+M Development Partners, and MBD Community Housing Corporation; second: Betances Houses by RDC, a joint venture between MDG Design + Construction and Wavecrest Management. Both located in the Bronx, these PACT projects comprise 54 buildings totaling 1,810 units.
The projects were completed through NYCHA’s Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program. A virtual ceremony commemorating the occasion featured NYCHA leadership, community and real estate partners, as well as resident testimonials on the engagement process and ground-up renovation.
The buildings – constructed between 1906 and 1974 – have largely suffered from decades of federal disinvestment. All told, the Baychester/Murphy and Betances developments are home to an estimated 4,300 residents – and the sites were in desperate need of repair, from in-unit renovations to the major rehabilitation of building infrastructure.
“PACT continues to be one of the best tools at our disposal to bring quality renovations and new job opportunities to NYCHA families throughout New York City,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “The completion of construction at Baychester Houses, Murphy Houses, and Betances Houses will ensure that the residents of these vibrant communities have the better homes they deserve, and guarantees both the affordability and quality of those homes for generations to come.”
“Today’s completion of construction is the result of two years of dedicated engagement with our residents around the quality-of-life improvements they wanted to see for their homes,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “This project is a testament to the idea that exceptional housing quality upgrades, modern landscape design features, and enhanced community resources can be realized without sacrificing long-term affordability and resident rights.”
“NYCHA is continually focused on marshaling the resources necessary to comprehensively repair the apartments of our residents and getting to the point where they can see and experience these improvements is a wonderful reward for that effort,” said NYCHA EVP, Real Estate Jonathan Gouveia. “We are grateful to all the different private and community partners, government agencies, and resident leadership who worked hand-in-hand with us to make this day possible.”
“Congratulations to NYCHA, our development partners, and most of all, the residents of the Betances, Baychester, and Murphy community on the completion of this significant rehabilitation. These improvements, as well as the preservation of affordability, tenant protections, and public control were made possible thanks to the PACT program, and we look forward to continuing our partnership in this effort,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Baychester and Murphy Houses were also the last developments in New York to benefit from the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) program. The reinstatement of this program will be crucial to helping New Yorkers as we grapple with a growing need for housing that is affordable, safe, and secure.”
“The key to creating a truly equitable city is to stabilize and preserve one of its most important resources – NYCHA’s housing stock. The PACT program enabled us to modernize the homes of nearly 1,000 residents with new kitchens, bathrooms, state-of-the-art amenities and infrastructure upgrades," said Rick Gropper, Principal of Camber Property Group. “The dramatic transformation of Baychester and Murphy shows the power of public private partnerships at work. We thank our partners at NYCHA, HDC, L+M Development Partners, and MBD for collaborating with us to provide some of the most vulnerable Bronxites with the high quality affordable residences they deserve.”
"This initiative has provided us with an opportunity to preserve nearly 1,000 units of desperately-needed affordable housing in the Bronx while also transforming residents’ quality of life with newly-renovated apartments and modern, efficient amenities," said Ayanna Oliver-Taylor, Senior Director at L+M Development Partners. "We are grateful to have partnered with NYCHA to find solutions for the critical issue of housing affordability, especially at the lowest income levels, and are committed to a long-term resident engagement strategy. We thank our partners Camber Property Group and MBD Community Housing Corporation for their support in this important effort to deliver results for the residents of the Baychester and Murphy Houses."
“RDC Development was founded with a mission to transform the homes, communities, and lives of low-income New Yorkers through quality, affordable housing and compassionate, efficient management,” said Matthew Rooney, principal of RDC Development and CEO of MDG Design + Construction. “We are proud to be part of the team that brought that vision to life with the redevelopment of Betances, and are grateful to our incredible partners for their support.”
“I have lived at Betances Houses for many years and the improvements we have seen as a result of the RAD conversation are incredible,” said Giselle Gavin, Resident Association President at Betances Houses. “The development team listened to our concerns and made improvements that we’ve needed for years, which will positively impact residents for years to come. The residents and myself are so thankful to everyone involved, and are happy to call the new Betances our home.”
“The renovations and changes have transformed our community. Most of my conversations with the community is focused on folks asking me how they can move into Baychester Houses because it is so beautiful and so safe,” said Sandra Gross, Resident Association President at Baychester Houses.
In addition to apartment renovations, the developments each received a host of infrastructure and spatial redesign improvements, including roofing replacements, entry upgrades, façade repairs, nearly 11 acres of new walking paths throughout the twelve developments, social-gathering spaces, lawns, ball courts, and thematic playgrounds – all designed to strengthen the community infrastructure of each site’s different community areas.
With the help of BronxWorks at Baychester and Murphy Houses and the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York at Betances, a core feature of each project involves developing and implementing comprehensive social services designed to empower residents and enhance their quality of life. Services offered across the sites include access to mental health clinics, youth employment programs, food pantries, emergency assistance programs, and educational enrichment services.
“Providing an array of services to the residents of Baychester and Murphy Developments is a critical part of our mission, especially during these very difficult times,” said Eileen Torres, Executive Director of BronxWorks. “BronxWorks is grateful to both communities for establishing a trusted relationship with our staff and organization. Whether we are assisting with employment search, tenant association meetings, or ensuring residents have access to essential resources, BronxWorks is proud to be the onsite social services partner.”
“This Bronx neighborhood has been impacted more than most, by this pandemic,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of New York. “High incidences of COVID infection coupled with huge job losses have put struggling families at even higher risk. Through Catholic Charities services and outreach, families can access basic necessities like food and clothing. With partners we have promoted wellness and health through screenings and other services. In addition, we have created hope by providing access to state-of-the-art workforce portals. In these dark and difficult times, Catholic Charities, day-in and day-out, has provided help and created hope.”
Through PACT, Baychester and Murphy Houses and Betances will convert to a more stable, federally funded program called Project-Based Section 8. This allows NYCHA to unlock funding to complete comprehensive repairs, while also ensuring homes remain permanently affordable and residents have the same basic rights as they possess in the public housing program.
Since December 2018, the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has served as a key financing partner on PACT. In addition to assembling the financing, HDC provides ongoing asset management and compliance for PACT transactions.
Baychester and Murphy Houses were some of the last housing developments in the nation to benefit from the U.S. Treasury Federal Financing Bank (FFB) & HUD Risk-Sharing Program - a recently expired program that helps finance affordable housing. FFB has helped to finance more than 4,400 affordable homes in New York City and 25,000 affordable homes across the nation. The City is hopeful this program will be reinstated at the federal level to bring make more developmental rehabilitations like this possible.
About New York City Housing Authority
The New York City Housing Authority is the largest public housing authority in North America, housing nearly 400,000 residents. NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Over 390,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 316 public housing developments and PACT developments around the five boroughs. Over 190,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA- administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA and www.twitter.com/NYCHA.
About the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC)
The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency and is charged with helping to finance the creation or preservation of affordable housing under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan. HDC also serves as a key financing partner in the rehabilitation of our city’s public housing stock under the NYCHA Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) initiative. Since 2003, HDC has financed more than 186,000 housing units using over $25 billion in bonds and other debt obligations and provided in excess of $3 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves and other available funds held by the corporation. HDC ranks among the nation’s top issuers of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing on Thomson Reuter’s annual list of multi-family bond issuers. In each of the last five consecutive years, HDC’s annual bond issuance has surpassed $1.6 billion. For additional information, visit: http://www.nychdc.com