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NEW YORK CITY-Shaun Donovan, housing commissioner of New York City, teamed with foundations and banks to create what is being called the first preservation agreement through the New York City Acquisition Fund for affordable housing. The agreement, which was created in collaboration with nine philanthropies and financial institutions, include the preservation of 283 occupied low- and moderate-income apartments.

The acquisition fund is a $230-million initiative that is designed to both build and preserve 30,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years. Of the 165,000 units, 73,000 are existing homes that will be preserved as affordable housing.

“New York City has the most aggressive affordable housing construction program in the nation,” Commissioner Donovan says. “To date, we have preserved nearly 30,000 units of housing through Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, including 20,000 units of Mitchell-Lama housing. The Acquisition Fund will allow us to sustain this momentum.”

According to a release, many of the developers interested in developing affordable housing are nonprofit organizations and local developers who typically do not have the financial resources to compete to acquire property in the private market. The New York City Acquisition Fund gives developers of affordable housing assistance in acquiring property while they assemble permanent financing for the project.

The Fordham Bedford Housing Corp., a nonprofit developer of community-run affordable housing in the Bronx, has purchased and will renovate six privately owned Bronx apartment buildings using acquisition loans totaling $23 million, which is equal to 10% of the fund. Enterprise, a nonprofit provider of affordable housing, is the managing general partner of the fund and was the originator of the loan.

In bringing together foundations, financial institutions as well as city government, the fund is a national model of collaboration and is being replicated throughout the country, including Illinois and Louisiana. “The fact that the fund has become a national model for collaboration on affordable housing speaks to its potential in continuing to stimulate affordable housing development for those who need it most,” Donovan adds.

The fund is managed by Enterprise along with National Equity Fund Inc. and Forsyth Street Advisors.

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