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East Village Section 8 Homes Are Getting $7.5M In Renovations

A photo of two women sitting in meeting room

Lucy Crespo and Thais Vélez, residents at LIHC- and CDC-owned buildings. (New York City Council/William Alatriste)

in: PATCH by: Sydney Pereira, Patch Staff
on: October 22, 2019 / Updated: October 30th.

More than 240 apartments will be preserved as Section 8 housing and get $7.5 million in renovations.

EAST VILLAGE, NY – Renovations are underway at hundreds of Section 8-backed apartments in the East Village, developers announced Tuesday.

More than 240 apartments in the East Village will not only be preserved as Section 8 housing for at least another 40 years, but completely renovated, under an agreement between the Center Developer Corporation, LIHC Investment Group and a slew of government agencies, including the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYC Housing Development Corporation and U.S. Housing and Urban Development.

Each apartment will get about $30,000 in upgrades, totaling about $7.5 million in repairs across nine East Village buildings near Tompkins Square Park.

For Thais Vélez, a mother of two who moved to the East Village from Puerto Rico more than a decade ago, “It’s about time.”

“I’ve been having problems with the ceiling — it’s always been leaking from the other apartments,” said Vélez, who lives in an apartment on East 10th Street near Avenue B.

“Me, myself, I’ve been little by little fixing things, but the things that need to [be fixed are] big,” she told Patch.

Her apartment is among those to be renovated with new flooring, drywall, LED lighting, new kitchens and bathrooms.

Along with renovations, the 40-year regulatory agreement extends the Section 8 program, a federal program that offers rental assistance for low-income families, at the apartments. It was first announced last summer at LIHC’s units in the East Village, East Harlem, Hamilton Heights and Inwood.

A photo of council women clapping at an event celebrating the affordability and Section 8 renovations

Former Council Member Rosie Mendez, Council Member Carlina Rivera and HPD Associate Commissioner Kim Darga at a celebration event for renovations and the affordability agreement. (New York City Council/William Alatriste)

“I wouldn’t want to leave my building,” said Lucy Crespo, 63, who’s lived at an LIHC-owned building on East 11th Street near Avenue B for nearly 40 years. She raised her two kids in the East Village, where preserving affordable apartments is among local leaders top concerns as home prices skyrocket in the area. “God willing, I would love to die in that building.”

Her apartment is already among more than two dozen that have been renovated since rehabilitation kicked off in September.

Another nearly two dozen units are slated to be built on an empty lot at 351 East 10th St. under the plans, with more formal building proposals expected to be finalized by spring, according to Center Development Corporation.

“This is preservation and production of affordable apartments throughout the community but also core commercial storefronts,” East Village Council Member Carlina Rivera said Tuesday at an event for the renovations. “That is really what makes a community — the people, the small businesses and that relationship.”

The renovations will extend affordability for families making below 50 percent of the area median income, which is about $48,000 annual income for a family of three.

Twenty-five apartments will be renovated with bathrooms and kitchens designed for elderly tenants through the housing preservation department’s “Aging in Place” program.

“We have really tried to take a creative approach at HPD to not only look at how we can build or how we can preserve but how we can structure our work to achieve both goals” of building and preserving affordable units, said Kim Darga, associate commissioner with the housing preservation department.

Ref: Read the full story on Patch’s website.

Also see: Rehabilitation of affordable housing in the East Village

By Jacob WolinskyVALUEWALK, October 22, 2019

Center Development Corporation (CDC) and LIHC Investment Group Announce the Preservation and Rehabilitation of Affordable Housing in the East Village

New York, NY — Councilwoman for the 2nd District of New York City Carlina Rivera, Center Development Corporation (CDC) and LIHC Investment Group invited local and federal housing officials and residents to The Boys’ Club of New York today, Tuesday, October 22, 2019 to celebrate the commencement of the preservation and rehabilitation of project-based Section 8 housing in the East Village.

The event’s featured speakers include Councilwoman Rivera and Department of Housing Preservation and Development Associate Commissioner Kim Darga. Before and after photos will be displayed by CDC of some of the already renovated units at 199 Avenue B. The building is one of several Section 8 properties being preserved as the result of an agreement between CDC, LIHC, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“We are in the middle of a housing crisis in New York City, and the creation and preservation of affordable housing in the Lower East Side has been my priority as a Council Member just as it was when I was a community organizer. I am proud to support CDC, LIHC, and HPD in the preservation and rehabilitation of the affordable units at 199 Avenue B. By preserving and rehabilitating these 243 units, we are guaranteeing affordable housing units for hundreds of families. This is a bold solution for ensuring affordability in our community for decades to come, and I look forward to working on similar projects in the future,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera.

Ref: Read the full story on ValueWalk’s website.

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