The Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers and Enterprise Community Partners on Monday gave a preview of the renovations at Valentine Townhomes at 162 Helena Ave. in Yonkers, the first step in a three-year, $300 million renovation plan to transform more than 1,700 units of public housing across the city.
Seven townhomes, including The Valentine Townhomes, are receiving $56 million in renovations as part of the first phase of the three-year project. Renovations were made possible through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, which allows the city and the housing authority to use tax credits to attract private investors.
“We are incredibly proud of the federal, state and local partnership that has made these renovations possible, which are breathing new life into our municipal housing stock and providing a better quality of life for our residents,” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said. “I look forward to the positive impact these renovations will have on our residents for years to come.”
The rehabilitation at the seven townhomes will create 204 affordable homes for Yonkers families, including three one-bedroom units, 161 two-bedroom units and 40 three-bedroom units. Rents will range from $827 to $2,209 per month. Tenants will be responsible for paying 30 percent of their income.
The six other sites now undergoing renovations are Francis Reagan Townhomes at 1157 Central Park Ave., Lawrence Christopher Homes at 350 Midland Ave., Andrew Smith Townhomes at 101 Trenchard S., James O’Rourke Townhomes at 525 Shoreview Drive, Judge Albert Fiorillo Townhomes at 1 Lauring Ave. and Arthur J. Doran Townhomes at 1171 Midland Ave.
Residents will remain in place during the renovations, which kicked off in November and are set for completion in early 2019. The renovations include new kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, heating and cooling units, windows and roof replacements. The homes will also become more energy efficient.
For the first phase of the project, the Municipal Housing Authority secured funding from Enterprise Community Investment, a nonprofit developer of affordable housing based in Columbia, Maryland. Enterprise provided $17.5 million in low-income housing tax credit equity through an investment fund with Morgan Stanley. Additional funding includes tax-exempt bonds issued by the New York State Housing Finance Agency and Public Housing Preservation funding from the New York Housing Trust Fund Corp.
“As cities across New York continue the fight to desegregate and create equitable communities for people of all income levels, preserving existing affordable homes and public housing is more essential than ever before,” said Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “Public housing is a lifeline for thousands of families in Westchester and across the country and programs like RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) will help us preserve it for generations to come.”
The Municipal Housing Authority expects to enlist outside developers for its other planned projects across the city and is continuing to negotiate with funding providers.