Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity join the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)…
Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise), the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), along with a coalition of public, private and philanthropic partners, to announce that the New York City Acquisition Fund (NYCAF) will now exclusively serve Minority and Women-Owned Businesses (M/WBEs) and nonprofit developers in its mission to support affordable and supportive housing development.
The $210 million public-private affordable housing loan fund will solely finance projects led by a M/WBE or nonprofit developer with a minimum 51 percent ownership stake in the project. The heightened focus on M/WBEs and nonprofits strengthens the Fund’s alignment with the City’s commitment to a fair and equitable post-COVID-19 recovery and preserves the Fund’s limited resources for the borrowers most in need of favorable financing for their affordable housing projects.
“Affordable housing shouldn’t just offer a place for New Yorkers in underserved communities to live – its construction should offer opportunity to those New Yorkers, too,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m proud to stand with partners across government to support developers who give back the most to the New Yorkers they serve.”
The Fund’s announcement is in line with the City’s new equitable ownership requirement to strengthen M/WBEs and nonprofits’ role on affordable housing projects developed on City-owned sites. The rule requires that an M/WBE or nonprofit partner hold a minimum 25 percent ownership stake in any affordable housing project awarded on public land.
“Making sure that our investments not only provide affordable housing, but also expand opportunities for M/WBE and nonprofit developers is critical to New York City’s fair and equitable recovery agenda,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “Leveling the playing field for those developers helps to diversify and strengthen the industry, puts New Yorkers to work in the neighborhoods they call home, and taps into the deep connections and contributions those developers have made in different neighborhoods.”
“City dollars can and should do more than just get work done,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and co-chair of the Racial Equity and Inclusion Taskforce. “By leveraging city spending power to support our M/WBEs and nonprofits, we can ensure a fair recovery for all New Yorkers.”
“The Fund’s shift to exclusively serve M/WBEs and nonprofit developers is a game-changer for firms seeking the crucial acquisition capital they need to get ahead,” said Sideya Sherman, Executive Director of the Taskforce for Racial Inclusion & Equity and EVP of Community Engagement & Partnerships at NYCHA. “We applaud Commissioner Carroll and our partners at HDC, Enterprise, and LISC for this significant investment, which will support a fair and equitable recovery for our city.”
“We are thrilled that the Fund will be building on the City’s efforts to increase investments in M/WBE and nonprofit developers that share our deep commitment to the communities we serve,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “The NYC Acquisition Fund is a tremendous partner, and their work will be invaluable to the recovery and ensuring that we reach the communities most in need. I applaud Enterprise and LISC for their remarkable work. This is a testament to what can be accomplished when philanthropy, private partners, nonprofits, and government all come together for a common goal.”
“The New York City Acquisition Fund has been at the forefront of helping to meet the City’s most pressing affordable housing challenges for years,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “This change announced today means we can do more to meet our commitment to supporting M/WBEs and nonprofits doing this critical work.”
“We support this effort to increase access to opportunities and capital for M/WBEs particularly during this difficult time for the local NYC economy and M/WBEs,” said Maggie D. Austin, Senior Advisor and Director of the Mayor’s Office of M/WBEs. “We applaud Commissioner Carroll and the Fund partners for this timely and much-needed resource.”
“Advancing racial equity is a key strategic priority for Enterprise, and as we work to support nonprofits and BIPOC-led developers, we recognize the importance of investing in these mission-driven partners,” said Victoria Rowe-Barreca, Director of Capital Solutions and Partnerships, Enterprise Community Partners. “We are proud to partner with the City and LISC to ensure that the New York City Acquisition Fund is bolstering nonprofit and M/WBE developers to be part of the City’s ambitious affordable housing plan.”
“The NYC Acquisition Fund’s decision to channel funding toward M/WBE and nonprofit developers is a major step toward ensuring equitable access to capital and creating sustainable community wealth for Black and Brown New Yorkers,” said Valerie White, executive director of LISC NYC. “We look forward to working with our partners and communities across the five boroughs in 2021 to close the racial wealth gap and build back better.”
“Equitable and affordable housing must be a top priority in the city’s COVID-19 recovery plan,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, Chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs). “The New York City Acquisition Fund’s exclusive focus on M/WBE’s blazes a path toward a more equitable future for New Yorkers. I praise the Mayor, Task Force, and Commissioner Carroll for taking on this initiative.”
“The Supportive Housing Network of New York wholeheartedly supports the New York Acquisition Fund’s decision to lend exclusively to nonprofits and M/WBEs to develop supportive and affordable housing,” said Laura Mascuch, Executive Director, Supporting Housing Network of New York. “NYCAF is a vital resource for our member organizations in creating thousands of apartments for homeless New Yorkers and the Network fully endorses the primacy of nonprofits developing and owning supportive housing. We also applaud Commissioner Carroll’s leadership in having NYCAF focus on M/WBE ownership as a means of beginning to address systemic racial and gender inequity.”
Established in 2006, the Fund offers flexible bridge loans to affordable housing developers to acquire vacant sites and occupied buildings and finance predevelopment work. The Fund is made possible through an innovative partnership between Enterprise and LISC, the City of New York, major commercial lending institutions, and leading foundations. Since launching, the Fund’s lending volume has exceeded $530 million, generating 14,200 newly constructed or preserved affordable homes throughout the five boroughs.
Photo credit; Women business owners.