Housing in Brief: NYCHA Strikes Deal With Private Developers to Manage and Repair Units

Also: Facebook pledges $150 million for extremely low income housing, and Montgomery County, Md., considers transit-adjacent rent control. 

(Photo by Jared Brey)

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NYCHA Strikes Deal With Private Developers to Manage and Repair Units

A group of private developers will repair more than 1,700 public housing units in New York after securing a $271 million loan, according to a report in Real Estate Weekly. The New York City Housing Authority struck the deal with PACT Renaissance Collaborative, a joint venture between Monadnock Development, Community Preservation Corporation, Community Development Trust, Kalel Holdings, Lemor Development Group, and Community League of the Heights (CLOTH), according to the report. As part of the deal, NYCHA will lease 16 of its properties to the joint venture, which will be responsible for fixing and operating the units. NYCHA will maintain ownership of the properties and administer rent subsidies through the Section 8 voucher program, and will also “monitor conditions at the developments, preserve resident protections and guarantee permanent affordability,” according to the report.

“This partnership will inject needed capital and community resources to fund comprehensive repairs, while upholding the strong resident rights and protections that ensure all New Yorkers may continue to live and thrive in the neighborhoods they call home,” said Vicki Been, New York’s deputy mayor for housing and economic development, according to the report.

The $271 million loan is funded through a tax-free bond issued by the New York City Housing Development Corporation. The deal will help address $24 billion in capital needs over the next decade, according to the report. According to a 2019 report from the Regional Plan Association, NYCHA needs $45.2 billion in repairs over the next twenty years.

Montgomery County, Md., Considers Transit-Adjacent Rent Control

Officials in Montgomery County, Maryland, are considering a law that would impose rent control on properties within a mile of certain D.C. Metro rail stations and stations on the suburban Purple Line, and within half a mile of Bus Rapid Transit stops, according to a report in DCist. Under the proposal, landlords would not be able to increase rent by more than a set amount based on the consumer price index, currently 2.6%, on apartments near transit. New construction would be exempt from the rent-increase cap for its first five years, according to the report.

Advocates have been trying to plan ahead for the potential gentrification of neighborhoods near the Purple Line, as WAMU previously reported. Tenant advocates in Montgomery County say that certain apartments have seen rent increases of more than 200%, according to the report. The proposal to cap rents near transit lines was introduced by Montgomery County council member Will Jawando, according to the report. Jawando also introduced a bill that would permit denser housing development than is currently allowed near D.C. Metro stations, the report says.

“These proposals taken together are trying to put to rest these either-or propositions that we just need more housing or we just need more renter protection and control. We need both,” Jawando said at a hearing on the proposal, according to DCist.

Rent increases are currently capped at 2.6% everywhere in the county during the pandemic emergency, DCist reported. Meanwhile, tenant advocates in Washington, D.C., are seeking to strengthen the District’s rent-control law, as DCist previously reported.

Facebook Pledges $150 Million for Extremely Low-Income Housing

Facebook announced this week that it will spend $150 million to finance 2,000 new units of extremely-low-income housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a press release from the company.

The investment will establish a Community Housing Fund, to be managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which will focus on providing housing for people earning less than 30 percent of the area median income. The fund will be open to applications from Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties, according to the press release.

The first project will be built in San Jose, with 123 affordable units, according to the release. They will include “onsite supportive services near public transit, where all residents will receive a free, annual VTA SmartPass providing free bus and light rail access throughout Santa Clara County,” the release says. The Fund will support “at least five” more projects in the next year, and the full $150 million will be distributed by 2026, according to the release.

“The size of the investment says that this is real. For these affordable housing developers that we work with, the more that one source of money can do more for their project, the faster they can get to construction,” said Cindy Wu, executive director of LISC Bay Area, according to a separate report in KQED.

Last year, as Next City wrote, Facebook committed $1 billion to support housing efforts in the Bay Area. The KQED report notes that Facebook’s pledge was accompanied by similar commitments from Apple and Google, which were partly responding to criticisms that the tech industry had driven up the cost of housing all over the Bay Area. This $150 million pledge is part of Facebook’s larger $1 billion commitment.

This article is part of Backyard, a newsletter exploring scalable solutions to make housing fairer, more affordable and more environmentally sustainable. Subscribe to our weekly Backyard newsletter.

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Jared Brey is Next City's housing correspondent, based in Philadelphia. He is a former staff writer at Philadelphia magazine and PlanPhilly, and his work has appeared in Columbia Journalism Review, Landscape Architecture Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Philadelphia Weekly, and other publications.

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Tags: new york cityaffordable housingpublic housingrent control

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