May 20, 2022
Video available at: https://youtu.be/SRmOU9gSdc0
Resident Association Leaders, PACT Partners Deliver Comprehensive Apartment Upgrades, Renovated Community Spaces, and Infrastructure Enhancements That Will Improve Public Safety and Quality of Life
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Administrator Alicka Ampry-Samuel, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair Greg Russ, and NYCHA resident association leaders today announced the completion a $434 million full-scale revitalization of nine public housing developments across Brooklyn under the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program. Known as the Brooklyn Bundle II, the nine public housing developments span 37 buildings and over 2,600 apartments, which are home to more than 6,000 NYCHA residents. The nine developments are managed by the PACT partner team, which includes the Arker Companies, Omni New York LLC, Dabar Development Partners, and the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.
“All New Yorkers have the same right to public safety and quality of life, no matter where they live, and today we take one major step closer to realizing those rights for 6,000 New Yorkers,” said Mayor Adams. “This process only works with residents, front and center, throughout the process, and I want to thank the resident association leaders across these sites for their partnership from beginning to end. Even as this project has delivered the much-needed comprehensive improvements that New Yorkers deserve, it is clearer than ever that we need every tool available to do the same across the city. That’s why the PACT program is essential and why I will continue working closely with my partners in Albany and in public housing, across all five boroughs, to pass the NYCHA Public Housing Preservation Trust and make the improvements that have been promised for years but never materialized.”
The nine renovated developments are:
- Armstrong I (371 units)
- Armstrong II (248 units)
- Berry Street — South 9th Street (150 units)
- Independence Towers (744 units)
- Marcy Avenue-Greene Avenue Site A (48 units)
- Marcy Avenue-Greene Avenue Site B (30 units)
- 572 Warren Street (200 units)
- Weeksville Gardens (257 units)
- Williams Plaza (577 units)
Before and after interior renovations at Armstrong II (top) and Williams Plaza (bottom). Photos provided by the Brooklyn Bundle PACT partner team.
“Congratulations to Arker, Omni, Dabar, Bed Stuy Restoration, and, most importantly, the more than 6,000 NYCHA residents who now have beautiful new homes,” said New York City Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “The PACT program continues to show it is one of the best tools available to delivering long-overdue repairs to New Yorkers while protecting tenant rights. NYCHA will continue this momentum with our allies and partners at all levels of government to deliver the safe, healthy homes NYCHA residents deserve.”
“The completion of these renovations opens a new chapter in the lives of 6,000 NYCHA families,” said HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey Alicka Ampry-Samuel. “All New Yorkers deserve to be proud of their home, and now they finally live in upgraded, safe apartments. HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program, or PACT at NYCHA, delivers beautiful units and ensures these apartments remain permanently affordable.”
“Housing affordability and stability are critical to ensuring equitable communities, and the array of amenities delivered to these developments ensures that more than 6,000 NYCHA residents will have improved living conditions for generations to come,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Greg Russ. “The Brooklyn Bundle II project demonstrates what is possible under the PACT program when multiple stakeholders are aligned for change.”
“The comprehensive apartment renovations and building system upgrades completed at these nine developments wouldn’t be possible without the close involvement of our tenant association leaders, the institutional support of the city, and the tireless commitment of our development partners — who shared our vision for delivering 21st-century, quality of life-changing improvements on behalf of our residents,” said Jonathan Gouveia, executive vice president of real estate development, NYCHA. “PACT is an essential tool in our efforts to drastically transform our building stock, and the modernizations on display here today should leave no doubt as to the benefits of this program.”
“HDC is proud to contribute critical financing to help ensure stronger, more equitable communities through PACT,” said New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Eric Enderlin. “Thanks to extensive resident engagement and the dedication of our partners, these 2,625 NYCHA households will benefit from comprehensive upgrades, guaranteed tenant protections, as well as enhanced social services and community programming. Congratulations to the residents and all our partners for their efforts towards guaranteeing the success and longevity of our city’s public housing.”
“The community members at these developments represent so much of what makes Brooklyn great, and we’re proud to have worked closely with them along with our partners at Omni, Dabar, and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation to deliver the safe, affordable housing they deserve,” said Daniel Moritz, principal, Arker Companies. “The NYCHA PACT program has allowed us to preserve critical affordable housing, ensure residents have all the same strong rights they’ve always had, and improve the quality of life of New Yorkers for years to come.”
“This project has been an investment not just in the thousands of apartments and buildings, but also in the residents who make up these strong Brooklyn communities,” said Eugene Schneur, cofounder and managing director, Omni New York LLC. “These renovations not only preserve affordable housing for thousands of families, but they also meet the needs of the community with supportive services, shared open space, and programming for Brooklynites of all ages.”
“We are so proud to reach the ribbon-cutting milestone on these developments, which preserve high-quality affordable housing for thousands of Brooklyn residents, thanks to the NYCHA PACT program,” said Dawanna Williams, founder and managing principal, Dabar Development Partners. “Only through our strong joint venture partnership with Arker, Omni, and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation are we able to offer these modernized facilities, dynamic outdoor space, and vital social services to be enjoyed by New Yorkers at large.”
“Restoration is overjoyed to continue over 50 years of community development with our dynamic partners Dabar, Omni, and Arker,” said Gordon Bell, CFA, chief of strategy and business, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. “Our team’s efficient rehabilitation of 2,600 units, while supporting thousands of families through the COVID pandemic and 40-year-record inflation is a tribute to the resilient Brooklyn community we proudly serve.”
“If the last two years taught us anything, it’s that we need our community to feel safe and secure in order to thrive,” said Vivian Legions, tenants association president, Berry Street — South 9th Street Houses. “Our PACT partners have truly delivered for residents with real and meaningful repairs to our community center and open spaces, making sure our most vulnerable residents have a place to be a part of our community. The residents here have a place we can feel proud of again.”
“Before PACT, too many of our residents at Independence Towers suffered through extremely cold nights every time our ancient boiler system fell apart,” said Samuel Guttman, tenants association president, Independence Towers. “We can now sleep more easily thanks to new, modern boilers that keep us warm, provide hot water, as well as everything else that our residents deserve so they can have a better quality of life.”
“Safety is the number one priority for our residents, and our PACT partners have fully committed to making sure every member of our community feels safe in their own homes,” said Joel Gross, tenants association president, Williams Plaza. “We are able to thrive and feel more secure thanks to the investment in security cameras and improved lighting at Williams Plaza, as well as general upkeep of our shared spaces.”
“From ending the flooding in our apartments to making us feel safer in our buildings, the PACT renovations have not only improved our homes, but they’ve also helped create a family-oriented community,” said Stephen Davis, tenants association president, Armstrong. “I know I am not alone when I say it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this proud to show off Armstrong Houses to our neighbors.”
“This has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. Thanks to the support from community leaders, our councilman, Legal Aid, and the management team, our tenant association worked hard to ensure residents’ rights remained protected during this transition through PACT/RAD,” said Jo Anne Brown, tenants association president, Warren Houses. “Residents have gained a new appreciation and respect for where they live due to the beautification of the property. Despite our opposition and concern in the stages, the new management team has been receptive and understanding of residents’ worries. By working with the tenant association, they assured residents felt heard, that we wouldn’t be displaced and that we would have on-site superintendent and daily groundskeepers who take pride in their work, which resonates with residents. The management team continues to have an open-door policy with us, and I hope we can continue down this positive path of improved living for those in our community who are usually overlooked.”
Before and after exterior renovations at 572 Warren Street. Photos provided by the Brooklyn Bundle PACT partner team.
The development team replaced, overhauled, or corrected infrastructure at 37 buildings in total, with the installation of new roofs, elevators, windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, and trash removal systems. Renovations completed within the 2,625 apartments included full-scale replacements of kitchens, bathrooms, and apartment electrical panels, as well as the installation of new flooring for living rooms and hallways.
Other enhancements included improvements to building entrances and facades, beautified lobbies and hallways, and the addition of thousands of cameras and energy-efficient lighting in common and exterior spaces to improve public safety. Non-residential facilities at the nine developments in the bundle were upgraded, with vacant community centers for Berry Street and the Armstrong campuses being wholly repaired and renovated.
All nine developments in the bundle received new boiler and heating equipment — most notably, Independence Towers installed high-efficiency boilers, new hydronic distribution lines, apartment radiators, and temperature controls designed to improve the delivery of hot water and safeguard the system against storm events.
In addition to environmentally retrofitting the buildings against extreme weather events, the development partners also partnered with the local nonprofit Solar One to install solar panels on the rooftops of four developments. The energy generated from these solar panels will be circulated back into the electrical grid for the surrounding community and the clean solar power that is generated will help to offset peak electricity usage.
Before-and-after photos of the renovated NYCHA sites are available online.
The development partners also took care to be responsive to the cultural needs of NYCHA residents throughout the process. The partner team worked closely with tenant leadership and the United Jewish Organization, a local nonprofit, to ensure construction work was considerate of the needs of the Jewish community, adjusting working schedules to minimize disruptions during Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The partner team also made other accommodations for the local Hasidic community, including the design and installation of new Shabbat-compliant access controls at front entrances and Kosher-compliant sink faucets, compartments, and dividers.
Through PACT, property managers with the development team are now responsible for the day-to-day operations and upkeep of the buildings and grounds. Across the bundle, there are 73 on-site staff members and numerous offsite staff dedicated to these buildings. There are 55 people for on-site maintenance staff, all of whom are members of 32BJ. Sixty-two NYCHA residents were hired for construction positions, and an additional 28 were hired for permanent positions with property management.
The Brooklyn Bundle II marks the fourth major project completed under the PACT program, which leverages HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program by transitioning a development’s operating subsidy to Project-Based Section 8 funding to finance capital needs.
HDC — New York City’s municipal housing finance agency — is a key financing partner for PACT. Under PACT, HDC coordinates or provides loan financing through HDC’s Multi-Family Housing Bond Resolution or the Housing Impact Bond Resolution, a new bond resolution created solely to facilitate NYCHA transactions.
Since 2016, the PACT program has generated more than $3.4 billion in capital funding for comprehensive apartment renovations and building infrastructure improvements for nearly 15,500 households. Approximately $579 million in renovations have already been completed, and $2.8 billion in major upgrades are underway or will begin early this year. An additional 19,700 households are part of active development projects in the process of resident engagement or pre-development. In sum, NYCHA has more than 35,000 apartments completed, in construction, or in a stage of resident engagement or pre-development.
More information on NYCHA’s PACT program can be found here, and more information on the Brooklyn Bundle II renovation project can be found here.