Another Program Reducing Black Home Ownership?

A local resident asking NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer a question about HPD at the Bed-Stuy community town hall. (Photo by Susan Watts/NYC Comptroller’s office, via Kings County Politics)

Yet another program managed by the city’s Housing Preservation Department may be implicated in reducing Black home ownership in Brooklyn, reports Kelly Mena in Kings County Politics.

For several months now, Kings County Politics has been reporting on HPD’s Third Party Transfer Program, through which numerous fully paid off Black-owned properties worth millions of dollars have been seized. Now tenants are voicing concerns about the disposition of some properties in the city’s Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program (ANCP), properties that are managed by tenants under the Tenant Interim Lease (TIL) Program.

Mena unravels the complicated developments:

While the TPT program has taken fully paid off black-owned properties worth millions of dollars with no compensation, ANCP affects tenants that manage city-owned buildings under the city’s Tenant Interim Lease (TIL) Program, which was established in the 1970s and 80s, when the city was rife with slumlords and abandoned buildings. TIL is under HPD and has tenants pay rent to the Tenant Association. The funds are then used for building maintenance, and many tenants thought they had an understanding with the city that they would control management and any capital improvements.

But like the TPT program, HPD earlier this year transferred ownership of six Central Brooklyn TIL properties they currently own to the non-profit Restoring Communities Housing Development Corporation (RCHDC), an affiliate of Neighborhood Restore, for a $1 each.

According to a legal ad in the New York Daily News dated Jan. 23, 2019, HPD moved forward with the sale of properties located at 32 Putnam Avenue, 34 Putnam Avenue, 550 DeKalb Avenue, 55 Carlton Avenue, 374-76 Prospect Place and 1216 Pacific Street.

And like the TPT program, Neighborhood Restore then turned over the buildings to a non-profit developer – in this case, Bedford-Stuyvesant-based Bridge Street Development Corporation – who in turn moved out existing tenants while they redevelop the properties only to move them back in and offer to sell them their units back as co-ops for $2,500.

The Kings County Politics story goes on to note that some residents of the properties said they had already been on the path to home ownership, and that they had agreement in place with HPD. Some said HPD should be audited.

Go to Kings County Politics to learn what Comptroller Scott Stringer promised the tenants at the Bed-Stuy meeting.

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