NEW YORK – The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), in partnership with resident leaders, today designated the non-profit organization Hope Community, Inc. and Brisa Builders Development – a minority- and women-owned business enterprise – to begin the process of renovating 398 apartments to benefit 1,200 residents at Wilson Houses in East Harlem through NYCHA’s Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program. The partner team is rounded out by Apex Building Group, Inc. – a minority-owned business enterprise – and Gilbane Development LLC, who will both serve as general contractors on the project. An additional minority-owned business enterprise – Shinda Management Corp. – will serve as the day-to-day property manager when the property converts to Project-Based Section 8. The selection of the PACT partners was made by a resident review committee after an extensive community engagement process beginning in the winter of 2021. Committee members reviewed and compared proposals and conducted interviews with proposing teams. The selected partner team will spend the next several months coordinating in-unit inspections and assessments of common areas as well as maintenance facilities. Construction is slated to start by early 2024.
“Thanks to the PACT program, we are delivering long-overdue capital repairs to NYCHA facilities and improving the quality of life for residents across the five boroughs,” said New York City Mayor Adams. “This selection, which will benefit the 1,200 residents who call Wilson Houses home, underscores our commitment to ensuring these projects empower residents to determine their needs, and increase contracting to meet our M/WBE goals.”
“This is a moment to celebrate the residents of Wilson Houses and their dedicated leadership in the process to select a PACT development team,” said Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “With deep ties to the East Harlem community, strong MWBE leadership, and demonstrated expertise in affordable housing, Hope Community Inc. and Brisa Builders Development are an exciting team to deliver comprehensive renovations to the homes of 1,200 residents.”
“Across New York City, more than 76,000 NYCHA residents are participating in the PACT program, and the overwhelming feedback has been excitement at the prospect of meaningful, long-lasting investments to their homes and their communities,” said NYCHA Interim CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “Today’s selection is emblematic of the resident-led approach of leveraging public-private partnerships to facilitate vital repairs.”
“More than 1,200 public housing residents at Wilson Houses will benefit from the comprehensive repairs provided through the PACT program,” said NYCHA Executive Vice President of Real Estate Development Jonathan Gouveia. “In addition to building repairs, NYCHA resident leaders have identified several safety concerns for the partner team to address with on-site security, along with opportunities to revitalize shared community spaces. We congratulate the residents who led this process and have continued to advocate for their community needs.”
"Wilson Houses needs its community spaces brought back on-line. We need more reliable heating and cooling, our Tenant Association space needs to be improved, and more attention is needed on repairs and work orders., “said Wilson Houses Tenant Association President Joyce Mayors. “I am excited that we were able to work with NYCHA to select our preferred PACT partners and I can't wait to see what they can do for the residents of Wilson Houses."
“More than 1,200 residents at East Harlem’s Wilson Houses will benefit from extensive upgrades resulting from today’s designation,” said NYC Housing Development Corporation President Eric Enderlin. “Congratulations to the selected development teams and thank you to all our partners for helping to bring critical investments to our city’s public housing stock under the PACT program.”
Built in 1961, Wilson Houses is in East Harlem at First Avenue between 105th and 106th Streets. Some of the slated improvements for Wilson Houses under the rehabilitation plan include new hardwood floors and plumbing fixtures; energy-efficient windows; roof replacements and repairs; new mailboxes; modernized heating and cooling systems; new landscaping and, recreational areas; and additional laundry facilities in each building. Enhanced security measures will also be a central feature of the renovations, including the creation of an on-site security office, lighting at building entrances, cameras, and intercom systems. The PACT partners have committed to working with residents to develop the final scope of renovations over the next year, including plans to activate underutilized spaces for community use.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and the staff of Hope Community along with our partners Brisa Builders Development LLC, I want to thank our neighbors in Wilson Houses for this tremendous opportunity to make the necessary improvements you asked of NYCHA during the selection process,” said Hope Community, Inc. Executive Director Walter M. Roberts. “We appreciate the trust you bestowed upon the development team, and through a collaborative effort, led by the residents of Wilson Houses, it is our goal to keep your homes affordable while making them safe and healthy places to live and enjoy life.”
“We are proud to join the residents of Wilson Houses, the New York City Housing Authority, and our partners at Hope Community, Inc. in the revitalization of this monumental public housing development,” said, Brisa Builders Development Chairperson & CEO Ericka Keller. “We are extremely humbled by the decision of the residents to work with our team to build a bright future for Wilson that optimizes the living experience in the built -environment and further creates a community where people are excited to live, thrive, and commune together.”
Hope Community, Inc. is a Harlem-based nonprofit organization founded in 1968 that focuses on the development, preservation, and management of affordable housing and community-focused commercial spaces. Previous renovation projects include the rehabilitation of Harlem Canaan House, a 146-unit, 21- story Mitchell-Lama development at West 118th Street and Fifth Avenue. Hope has developed and managed over 1,200 affordable housing units in the East Harlem neighborhood.
The predecessor of Brisa Builders Development LLC was founded by the late Thomas B. Keller and Lilly Woodyard Keller;, the couple together developed and constructed federally funded senior housing referred to as the HUD 202 program with faith- based sponsors. Brisa Builders Development LLC has continued this robust background in partnering with faith-based organizations to develop affordable housing, with notable projects such as the development of Ebenezer Plaza in Brownsville,; Bishop Philius and Helene Nicolas Senior Residences in East Flatbush,; and Grace’s Place in Far Rockaway, bringing more than 1,150 units of affordable housing to the New York City.
In collaboration with resident leaders, a non-profit social services provider will be added to the partner team to provide on-site services and programs most desired by the community. The partner team will also prioritize job training and local hiring opportunities for residents in management and construction.
The PACT program transitions developments from traditional public housing assistance to the more stable, federally funded Project-Based Section 8 program — unlocking funding for designated PACT partners to complete comprehensive repairs. In 2022, the PACT program drove $2 billion in large-scale improvements for NYCHA residents in 8,531 apartments across 17 developments. With today’s designation, 137 NYCHA campuses and 36,103 apartments are in either the engagement, construction, or conversion process through the PACT program. The Authority is working to include 62,000 apartments in the PACT program to bring the benefits of comprehensive apartment repairs and building upgrades, as well as enhanced property management and social services, to more than 142,000 residents. The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), New York City’s municipal Housing Finance Agency, is the key financing partner for PACT. In addition to providing or arranging the financing, HDC provides ongoing asset management and compliance for PACT transactions.