‘Before and After’ Preview of $56M Renovation of Public Housing Units

L-R: New York State Senator and Westchester County Executive-Elect George Latimer; Yonkers Deputy Mayor James Cavanaugh; MHACY Executive Director Joseph Shuldiner; Valentine Townhomes resident Chanetta Garner; HUD New York Public Housing Director Luigi D'Ancona; Yonkers Councilman Mike Breen; New York State Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer and Dan Magidson, Vice President, Syndication, Enterprise Community Investment. Photo provided

YONKERS – Federal, State and Yonkers officials joined the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (MHACY) and Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) to preview renovations at Valentine Townhomes.

The Townhomes are the first of seven public housing communities across Yonkers receiving a $56 million facelift through the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, which helps finance large-scale public housing rehabilitation.

L-R: New York State Senator and Westchester County Executive-Elect George Latimer; Yonkers Deputy Mayor James Cavanaugh; MHACY Executive Director Joseph Shuldiner; Valentine Townhomes resident Chanetta Garner; HUD New York Public Housing Director Luigi D’Ancona; Yonkers Councilman Mike Breen; New York State Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer and Dan Magidson, Vice President, Syndication, Enterprise Community Investment. Photo provided

Originally developed in the 1990s as part of a court order to desegregate the city, the homes gained further recognition as the subject of the 2015 HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero. This major renovation will ensure the long-term affordability for these communities and further the city’s commitment to fair housing.

The Seven Townhomes is the first of more than 18 public housing complexes that are undergoing complete restoration as part of a $300 million, three-year plan that will transform more than 1,700 units of public housing across Yonkers. It is the most extensive public housing renovation in the nation using public/private financing.

“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,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “I look forward to the positive impact these renovations will have on our residents for years to come.”

Residents are remaining in place during the renovations, which began in November and will complete in early 2019. The work includes new kitchens, bathrooms, and flooring; new heating and cooling units; new windows; and some roof replacements. The homes will also become more energy efficient and will comply with the New York State Housing Finance Agency’s green building guidelines.

“After more than five years of twists and turns it is exciting for us to see these renovations taking shape,” said Joseph Shuldiner, Executive Director of  the MHACY. “It’s even more exciting for our residents who will be able to enjoy their new kitchens, bathroom and updated apartments, some in time for the holidays.  This month marks the start of a much larger effort to provide good, sustainable and affordable housing for the more than 5,000 residents in public housing and create hundreds of construction jobs that will boost the economic revitalization in our city. I want to thank everyone: HUD our state legislators and funders like Enterprise for making this all possible.”

Enterprise Community Investment 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 Corporation.

The rehabilitation will create a total of 204 affordable homes for Yonkers families, comprising three one-bedroom units, 161 two-bedroom units, and 40 three-bedroom units. Rents will range from $827 to $2,209 per month and tenants will be responsible for paying 30% of their income. Units will be affordable households making below 60% of the area median income, or $66,840 for a family of four.

The seven sites undergoing renovations are:

  • Valentine Townhomes, 162 Helena Avenue (14 units)
  • Francis Reagan Townhomes, 1157 Central Park Avenue (44 units)
  • Lawrence Christopher Homes, 350 Midland Avenue (14 units)
  • Andrew Smith Townhomes, 101 Trenchard Street (28 units)
  • James O’Rourke Townhomes, 525 Shoreview Drive (48 units plus 4 new units)
  • Judge Albert Fiorillo Townhomes, 1 Lauring Avenue (24 units)
  • Arthur J. Doran Townhomes, 1171 Midland Avenue (28 units)