In 2012, the Housing Partnership was approached by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”), the New York City Housing Development Corporation (“HDC”) and the New York State Attorney General’s Office (“AG”), to play a unique role in addressing the problematic ownership of the DCA Brooklyn portfolio, a 27-building, 216 unit scattered-site Mitchell-Lama property located in the Brownsville, Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods of central Brooklyn. The project was constructed in 1971 and was owned by a nonprofit housing company that became defunct over the ensuing four decades. With the cooperation of HPD, HDC, and the Housing Partnership, the AG judicially dissolved the defunct owner and obtained a court order authorizing conveyance of the project to a Housing Partnership affiliate, whose interim ownership of the property allowed the project to be stabilized and subsequently sold to responsible owners. Omni New York, the holder of a long-term ground lease on the project, is a real estate development company founded by former baseball player Maurice “Mo” Vaughn and Eugene Schneur for the purpose of bringing revitalization and development to various neighborhoods in New York and other states. As such Omni was a prime contender for ultimate ownership of DCA. Following review and approval of the transaction by the AG and the Supreme Court, the Housing Partnership sold its interest in the project to Omni.
The project was financed by HDC and HPD. HDC provided financing through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds and a low-interest mortgage loan. HPD provided an additional low interest mortgage through its Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The project was contingent upon HUD’s approval and a regulatory agreement keeping the units affordable. In addition, all of the buildings received much needed rehabilitation in the amount of almost $12 million. The scope of work included renovating the hallways, installing new roofs and building entrance doors, and replacing and upgrading building mechanics including installing modular condensing steam boilers in each building. Additionally, in-unit improvements included the installation of new floors, painting, windows, entry and closet doors, kitchen cabinets, energy star appliances, countertops, fixtures, bathroom vanities, sinks, faucets, bath tubs and tiles. The security system at the property was also completely overhauled with the installation of new surveillance cameras.
The Housing Partnership is pleased to have played a role in keeping the DCA project affordable. We continue to explore opportunities to bring other projects throughout New York City with complex or problematic pasts, into responsible and compliant ownership – one of many ways the Housing Partnership assists in creating and preserving affordable housing.