NYCHA wants developers to help convert 1,700 apartments into Section 8 housing

Portfolio is spread across 17 projects and 59 buildings
By Konrad Putzier | May 24, 2017 07:00AM

Shola Olatoye

NYCHA’s Shola Olatoye

UPDATED, May 24, 9:37 a.m.: The New York City Housing Authority is looking to partner with a private real estate investor partner or a non-profit developer to turn 1,700 public apartments in Brooklyn and the Bronx into Section 8 housing.

On Tuesday the agency issued a request for proposals to convert the units under its so-called Permanent Affordability Commitment Together, or PACT, program. It will keep the land under the properties and wants to run the buildings themselves as a public-private partnerships with a real estate firm.

The portfolio is spread across 17 projects and 59 buildings. Unusually for NYCHA, most units are in low-rise properties of less than seven stories. The agency is splitting the units up into three separate bundles, each treated as a distinct development, and expects the public-private partnership to spend around $300 million rehabbing the buildings.

“Chronic heat and gas outages will be addressed and renovations of interiors and common spaces, as well as elevator repairs, will be completed,” NYCHA said in a statement. “Additionally, there will be improvements to building security including entry systems and additional security cameras.”

This would be the second PACT deal, after the Department of Housing and Urban Development approved the conversion of the Ocean Bay development in Far Rockaway into Section 8 housing.

PACT is New York’s version of the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program, which seeks to improve the country’s public housing stock. NYCHA claims it wouldn’t be able to pay for the upkeep of public housing units without the program, especially in the face of drastic proposed HUD budget cuts.

The agency has also sought to attract investment by allowing private developers to build on its land.