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NEW YORK CITY-The Bloomberg administration announced Monday that the city is spending $60 million in federal stimulus funds to develop four affordable housing projects in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Reportedly, New York is the first US city to launch new affordable housing with money from the Tax Credit Assistance Program administered by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The four projects, with a combined cost of about $270 million, are expected to create a total of 739 units of affordable housing and generate 2,800 construction jobs. Largest of these is a $143.5-million East Harlem development located at two separate sites, which will be developed through a joint venture between Phipps Houses and Urban Builders Collaborative.

At the East 102nd Street site, a dozen walk-up buildings will be demolished and replaced by a nine-story, 259-unit property to be known as Hobbs Court. On an East 100th Street site, five vacant six-story buildings will be rehabilitated and combined into a single building of 81 units called the Ciena. Both sites were Federal Housing Administration-foreclosed properties that were transferred to the New York City Housing Authority in the late 1980s, and have been operated as Section 8 housing since then.

Scheduled for completion in the fall of 2011, the Hobbs Court/Ciena project is intended to be permanently affordable to households with incomes up to $46,080 for a family of four and up to $32,280 for a single person. Along with $26.4 million in TCAP funding, the New York City Housing Development Corp. is contributing $21.7 million and a construction loan of $71.4 million, backed by a letter of credit from JPMorgan Chase and Bank of New York Mellon.

Additionally, JPMorgan, acting through a placement by Richman Housing Resources, will invest $38.8 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity to pay down the construction loan at permanent conversion, the release states. Phipps is putting in $1.9 million of its own funds as equity and will advance $700,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development. NYCHA will receive annual lease payments for the property, according to the release.

Along with the Hobbs Court/Ciena development, two other Harlem projects, the Balton and the Douglass, will receive $18.9 million and $1.9 million, respectively, in TCAP funding. Both are located on West 127th Street. The Balton, a $68-million project, will provide 156 affordable housing units, while the $33-million Douglass will provide 70. Livonia Terrace, a $25-million rehabilitation project at multiple addresses along Alabama Avenue in the East New York section of Brooklyn, will provide 173 affordable units. It’s getting $9.5 million in TCAP funding

In line with the requirement that 75% of TCAP funds must be committed by February 2010, the four projects the city is financing represent about 70% of its $85-million allocation from the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, according to a release. The state has gotten $250 million of the $2.25 billion in TCAP funds that HUD awarded earlier this year.

In a statement, Deborah VanAmerongen, DHCR commissioner, says TCAP “will get stalled projects up and running and create quality affordable housing and stronger neighborhoods throughout New York City and the entire state.” HUD secretary Shaun Donovan says in a statement that the program is “significantly boosting our efforts to put the American people back to work, right here in New York City, while at the same time providing quality, affordable housing options for low-income families at a time when those options are critical.”

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