NYC Housing Partnership Opens New Manhattan Center

NYC Housing Partnership Opens New Manhattan Center

May 7, 2015

The NYC Housing Partnership, a 33-year-old nonprofit that facilitates several affordable housing initiatives by working with both New York City Housing Preservation and Development (NYCHPD) and private real estate developers, has opened an Affordable Housing Center at its Manhattan headquarters.

The Affordable Housing Center, where Housing Partnership staff will help process applications for affordable housing units throughout the five boroughs, comes in the wake of over 80,000 applications for just 55 affordable units in a new building on Manhattan’s West Side.

With the opening of its new center, the Housing Partnership will be able to expand its abilities to serve as Administering Agent and Marketing Agent for private developers, “a role that is consistent with the Housing Partnership’s history of improving access to affordable housing in the New York metropolitan area,” said Dan Martin, the President and CEO of the Housing Partnership.

“We have been retained as Administering Agent by developers on projects throughout the City, most recently for new buildings in the East Village, West Village, the Upper East Side, Murray Hill and the Upper West Side,” said Dan Martin.

In its role as Administrating Agent, the Housing Partnership is responsible for ensuring that real estate developers comply with the provisions required in the Regulatory Agreement between the developer and HPD. The organization also uses its role to dessiminate helpful information to applications, such as financial and credit skills that applicants who have never owned a home may not intuitively have. 

The Housing Partnership typically takes over after HPD has used its internal algorithm to sort and chose by lottery a fraction of the initial applicants who will be considered for the available units. Then on a random basis, the Housing Partnership staff screens and interviews the remaining applicants on the basis of family size, income, credit worthiness, and total assets.

“The Housing Partnership has a long history of providing marketing services for HPD ownership and rental programs. The Housing Partnership has the expertise to run the entire marketing effort, in compliance with HPD requirements, from selection of qualified applicants through securing end loans,” said Martin.

The application and unit-filling process can be a delicate and time-consuming balancing act. In a typical project, affordable units range from studio to 3-bedroom apartments; the number of each type of available unit necessarily adds another complication to the matching process. On top of this, a percentage of units must be aside for handicapped individuals.

In light of these many challenges, the Housing Partnership’s process can take over a year to fill just a handful of units, sometimes conducting up to a thousand interviews, a spokesman for the organization said. 

The Housing Partnership is optimistic that the opening of its new center will help the organization tackle its current projects, as well as expand to serve new developers seeking to fill affordable housing units throughout the five boroughs. 

“The Housing Partnership is ideally qualified to provide Administering Agent services to developers participating in New York City's Inclusionary Housing program. They know they can rely on our experience and expertise in helping comply with the requirements of the Program, which is valuable in achieving the Mayor’s affordable housing goals for the City," said Mr. Martin.

Jeff Stein