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[IMGCAP(1)]NEW YORK CITY-Locally based Related Cos. has joint ventured with Tiki Barber’s Tiki Ventures LLC in an attempt to boost the nation’s stock of high quality, affordable housing. The new venture will partner with Centerline Capital Group to purchase and extensively renovate older, existing affordable housing developments as a means to protect, improve and extend housing options in the US, according to Related.

The first phase of the venture will consist of the acquisition and refurbishment of more than 3,500 residential units for low-to-moderate income families in Virginia and North Carolina. Centerline Capital Group will finance approximately $150 million of the project, which will progress over the next three to four years. A spokesperson at Related tells GlobeSt.com there is not a set number for financing of the future projects. She also notes that that the first phase will consist of 30 developments, adding that refurbishments could be done to the interior or exterior depending on the property, but most likely a little bit of both.

[IMGCAP(2)]The vast majority of these housing units are at risk of becoming market rate and therefore contributing to the depletion of the affordable housing stock. The joint venture will rehabilitate the units and preserve them for tenants at between 50% to 60% of area median income for a minimum of 30 years. The venture is also pursuing several opportunities throughout the nation, with an initial focus on New York and New Jersey, including Newark. The spokesperson tells GlobeSt.com that the 3,500 units in Virginia and North Carolina are in such areas as Roanoke, Salem, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg, Buena Vista and Asheville, VA and Salem, NC.

Stephen Ross, chairman of Related Cos. and Centerline Capital Group says in a prepared statement that the goal is simple–to help preserve, improve and extend the affordability of the nation’s housing stock. “These investments in affordable housing are investments in our communities and working families across the country.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says in a prepared statement that “continuing to create and preserve affordable housing is critical to New York’s future and is a key component of our PlaNYC agenda. As our city adds nearly one million people between now and 2030, we must make sure that working New Yorkers have quality affordable housing, and this new venture with Related Cos. and Tiki Barber will provide a tremendous vehicle to meet our administration’s goal of providing 165,000 affordable units–the largest municipal affordable housing plan in the nation’s history.”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker says in the statement that “the creation and preservation of affordable housing is a top priority for my administration. Many of this city’s apartment buildings were constructed decades ago and are in dire need of renovation and modernization. …This joint venture between Related Cos. and Tiki Barber to preserve and improve existing affordable units represents an exciting opportunity for Newark as we work to create vibrant, mixed-income neighborhoods.”

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