City on track to create 100,000th affordable housing unit by the end of the year

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The effort to increase affordable housing in the city is remaining in high gear despite recurring budget cuts elsewhere. By the end of the year, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, led by Commissioner Rafael Cestero, is on track to complete its 100,000th unit of either rehabilitated or new public housing. The agency’s goal is 165,000 affordable apartments by 2014 and is also helping to refinance overleveraged affordable properties. The Dec. 2 sale of 14 South Bronx Buildings to Omni New York, headed by former Mets first baseman Mo Vaughn, is one example of how the city’s involvement has been met with success. Omni replaced Ocelot Capital Group, which had abandoned the buildings and defaulted on the mortgage, and the city, which had already overseen $1.3 million in repairs there, had worked with the $29 million loan holder Fannie Mae to arrange the sale. The city has allotted $750 million to similarly aid overleveraged properties in the future, which in turn will save 20,000 to 30,000 affordable units. [Crain’s]