August 28, 2015
If you own a multi-family home, the city could help you pay for repairs.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development is teaming up with the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) to host a series of info sessions — called Neighborhood Preservation HelpDesk — where homeowners can find out how to get access to city funding for restorations upgrades in old buildings and save on energy and operating costs.
HPD Commissioner Vicki Been said their goal is to reach small building owners who often can’t afford to make necessary repairs and investments or aren’t aware of the resources available to them.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito hosted the first of five such meetings Thursday night at PS 109 on 215 East 99th St.
“Events like this are part of our commitment to preventing residential displacement as we plan for the future of our community,” she said in a statement.
Currently, 400,000 apartments in buildings with less than 50 units provide affordable housing to half of the city’s low- and middle-income renters. About 85 percent of those buildings were built before 1973 and are likely in need of upgrades, according to the CPC.
However, the owners of those buildings do not often take advantage of the publicly available financing opportunities.
“Most small building owners don’t have access to the resources that are available to large developers,” CPC president Rafael Cestero said in a statement. “Generally they’re individuals and families that own one or two buildings operating on relatively thin margins, trying to make ends meet despite rising costs.”
The HelpDesk is a one-stop model design to give the owners easy access to financial and technical resources, he added.
The next session will be held in Ridgewood, Queens at 66-56 Forest Avenue from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 3. A list of all future HelpDesk events is available online.