March 25, 2013

2013 Multifamily Assistance Center Meeting


Gregory Lobo Jost, UNHP Deputy Director, presented the most recent BIP data to lenders at our 2013 Multifamily Assistance Center meeting.

2013 marks the 30th year of UNHP’s efforts to preserve affordable housing in our neighborhoods.  Our efforts continue as UNHP hosted a collaborative meeting on February 15th with banks and government agencies to improve housing conditions in the Bronx and NYC.

UNHP’s continued collaboration with lenders and public agencies has brought marked improvements in living conditions for more than 200,000 NYC families.  Last month, UNHP held our annual Multifamily Assistance Center meeting to share research and data on the state of multifamily properties in NYC.  Enterprise hosted the meeting at their downtown Manhattan office.  UNHP organized the meeting as an opportunity to present the most current Building Indicator Project (BIP) data to representatives from the 21 banks in attendance.

The BIP database was developed to identify multifamily properties in physical and/or financial distress.  Greg Lobo Jost, deputy director of UNHP, led the meeting and shared the most recent data with the attendees.  The BIP with data from November 2012 included information on 62,241 properties in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.  We gave each bank their portfolio of properties in NYC, highlighting those scoring above 800 points, which signifies a property likely to be distressed.

The numbers speak for themselves.  The Bronx continues to have the highest proportion of units scoring above 800 while residents pay a higher percentage of their income on rent than any other borough.  5.4% of Bronx multifamily buildings (430 buildings with 15,541 units) are likely to be distressed.  The average percentage of high scoring multifamily properties in the other boroughs is 2.8%.  We look forward to working with multifamily lenders to improve living standards without passing on soaring costs to residents.

NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development also presented on Addressing Distress in Multifamily Rental Buildings.  HPD discussed their continued work pursuing legislative solutions to promote high standards of housing quality and emphasized the improvement in the market over the past few years.  In 2009 the number of buildings entering foreclosure peaked at 684 but has been steadily dropping, and last year we saw only half as many foreclosures.

UNHP also shares the BIP data with over 20 community groups.  Recently, CASA New Settlement Apartments identified three high scoring (in the thousands) properties on College Avenue in the Bronx through the BIP.  After a year-long organizing effort, CASA helped broker a deal between the lender and a group of preservation minded purchasers for the complex with 63 apartments.  Read more about this story in a New York Times article here.

A representative from New York Community Bank, which held the original mortgage, and Peter Madden, Deputy Commissioner from HPD, discussed the deal at the meeting.  Both Mr. Madden and the representative from NYCB stress that while the deal was complicated, the willingness of the community groups, City, and bank partners to work together toward a solution made it possible to develop a financial deal to improve the living conditions for the 63 families living in these properties.

UNHP will continue to work with banks, regulators, community groups, and public agencies to improve conditions in our buildings and our neighborhoods.