The Daily Dirt: Nonprofit developers want city to revive these programs

Mission-oriented builders back Progressive Caucus proposal

Nonprofit Developers Back Progressives’ Housing Funding Plan
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

Rising interest rates and construction costs hurt two housing programs. Nonprofit developers and City Council members want an infusion of cash to make up the lost ground.

In a letter to Mayor Eric Adams, more than two dozen community development corporations backed a call to commit $2.5 billion over the next five years to Open Door and Neighborhood Pillars, which are, respectively, housing construction and preservation programs.

The letter also recommends changes to the programs, notably increasing the subsidies available for each project. Neighborhood Pillars, which has preserved fewer than 400 units since its launch in 2018, only provided nonprofits with up to $180,000 per unit to acquire and rehab rent-stabilized buildings. The maximum subsidy for Open Door, which funds construction of shared equity condos and co-ops, was $190,000.

“Term sheets are woefully out of date, market conditions have changed to the detriment of both preservation and development of affordable housing, and key agencies are still adjusting following the worst of the pandemic,” the letter states.

The City Council’s Progressive Caucus estimates that if the funding were approved, it would preserve 8,930 units through Neighborhood Pillars and build 3,125 units through Open Door.

The emphasis on investing in programs that favor nonprofit developers has been a common thread among progressive officials, and one that private landlord groups have repeatedly pushed back against.

“Everyone is going to quickly learn the problem isn’t who owns the building but the inability to cover the cost of this housing with the rents allowed to be collected,” Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program, wrote on X about Neighborhood Pillars.

The letter comes as other groups call on the Adams administration to ramp up the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s capital funding. The New York Housing Conference has asked for it to be increased by $1 billion in fiscal 2025. Getting any of these increases will be a challenge, given that the city’s budget must be approved by July 1.

What we’re thinking about: Developer Bruce Eichner has new plans for a housing project near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Will this 475-unit proposal have better luck than his previously rejected 1,578-unit project there? Send a note to kathryn@therealdeal.com

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A thing we’ve learned: Investor home purchases increased slightly in the first quarter — the first increase since 2022’s second quarter, according to Redfin. Investors bought 44,000 homes across the U.S., representing a 0.5 percent gain year-over-year.

Elsewhere in New York…

— As of Sunday, the Portal is back. The art installation that features livestream videos between Dublin and Manhattan was temporarily shut off after visitors acted inappropriately. In response, organizers have shortened the Portal’s hours of operation and have installed “Portal ambassadors” in both cities to monitor how visitors behave, the New York Times reports.

— Woodstock, New York, now has a Cheez-It themed pop-up restaurant, the Times Union reports. The “Cheez-In Diner” has a Cheez-It themed menu and decor and will only be open for one week. It’s at the former location of the Dixon Roadside restaurant.

— Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who may be considering a run for mayor, on Sunday blamed a private contractor’s finding of elevated levels of arsenic in drinking water at NYCHA’s Riis Houses on “two years of government incompetence,” the New York Daily News reports. A spokesperson for NYCHA said the comments were made by a “desperate fallen leader, who is purporting false public health information and fear-mongering for political expediency.”

Closing Time

Residential: The priciest residential sale Monday was $8.2 million for a condominium unit at 21 East 12th Street in Greenwich Village.

Commercial: The largest commercial sale of the day was $15 million for a 21,000-square-foot vacant lot at 286 Rider Avenue in Mott Haven.

New to the Market: The highest price for a residential property hitting the market was $30 million for a 6,000-square-foot townhouse at 84 Jane Street in the West Village. Abigail Agranat and Steve Halprin of Douglas Elliman have the listing.

Breaking Ground: The largest new building application filed was for a 357,000-square foot, 17-story, mixed-use building at 1225 Gerard Avenue in the Bronx, where a Health+Hospitals facility stands. Andrew Bernheimer of Bernheimer Architecture filed the permit. L+M Development Partners is the developer. — Matthew Elo