The Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (MHACY) made significant progress in adding more affordable housing in 2020 with a total of 1,336 units renovated, 425 under construction or scheduled for completion in 2021.
“The past year has been unlike anything we have ever experienced in our lifetime. However, thanks to our dedicated and hard-working staff, we have continued to move forward in redeveloping and renovating more units of affordable housing while continuing to serve the needs of our many residents,” said Wilson Kimball, who was appointed President and CEO of MHACY in April 2020.
$236 Million Transformation of Cottage Gardens
Among the many highlights of the year was the closing on financing for 178 Warburton at The Ridgeway, a new $56 million mixed-income residential complex of 81 apartment homes that are being developed by MHACY and The Community Builders. 178 Warburton at The Ridgeway is the fifth phase of the six-phase master plan to redevelop Cottage Place Gardens, a 256-unit distressed public housing complex built in 1945, into the mixed affordable and market-rate development called The Ridgeway. The fourth phase at 172 Warburton, which is under construction, is a $52 million development featuring 85 apartment homes. The sixth and final phase will include 92 units with a development cost of $55 million. The Ridgeway redevelopment master plan calls for 500 units of housing. To date, 242 units across three phases have been completed, as well as the substantial renovation of an existing daycare center.
$500 Million RAD Program Nearing Completion
MHACY’s largest point of focus for the past several years has been the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program, which involves the conversion of its entire public housing portfolio. The $500 million plan, launched in 2017, will include the renovation of more than 1,700 units across the city. All but two properties, Calcagno Homes and Loehr Court, are completed; they are expected to be finished by 2021. Interior renovation work at Troy Manor and Kris Kristensen has been completed, and residents in temporary housing have been moved back into the buildings. “When we’re done with all of our RAD units being converted, that will have been a singular achievement. And finishing them during COVID-19 has added another layer of bureaucracy and difficulty to the project,” said Carlos Laboy-Diaz, Chief Operating Officer of MHACY.
Plan Announced to Expand Affordable Housing
For the first time in more than a decade, MHACY is seeking to partner with market-rate building owners to expand the city’s affordable housing base. In July, MHACY announced that it had released a request for proposals seeking building owners to participate in the Section 8 Housing program. Section 8 provides vouchers through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that subsidize rental units in market-rate buildings for income-qualifying tenants. The plan would also be a significant plus for building owners and developers who need to meet the city’s affordable housing law requirements.