pr_05-12-2014

AHTCC Announces Arbor House as a Green Housing Winner of the 20th Annual

Charles Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award

 

New York, NY – The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) has selected Arbor House as the 20th Annual Charles Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award winner in the Green Housing category.  These awards were presented to the most outstanding Low Income Housing Tax Credit properties in seven categories; this national awards program celebrates and recognizes the best in affordable rental housing development.

Arbor House is located at 770 East 166th Street at Tinton Avenue in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. Since its completion in 2012, Arbor House has been nationally recognized for its sustainable design and energy efficient attributes.

“We aim to ensure that the people living in affordable developments funded by the City have housing that is not only secure and decent, but also promotes healthy lifestyles and is constructed using materials that are environmentally friendly inside and out,” said HDC President Gary D. Rodney. “Arbor House achieves all of that and more. We are grateful to the AHTCC for this award and deeply gratified to be recognized for the work we and our partners do to promote green, healthy development across the five boroughs of New York City.”

“We at Blue Sea Development are honored to win this award for excellence,” said Les Bluestone, co-founder of Blue Sea Development Company. “We believe strongly in promoting a green and active lifestyle as a way to encourage our tenants to improve their health and that of their children. I'm proud that Arbor House has already made a difference for many of the residents and has contributed to the overall health and health awareness of the neighborhood."

Arbor House has also received LEED Platinum certification and a National Green Building Standard Gold rating. Building construction primarily used local and recycled products and 95% of construction waste was recycled and diverted from landfills. Arbor House received recognition from the American Cancer Society as a ‘Healthy High-Rise’ in honor of its 100% smoke-free policy. Air quality is further maintained with the use of low- and zero-VOC paints, adhesives, finishes and sealants and air ventilation and filtration throughout the development. A living green wall in the lobby also provides fresh oxygen. The building meets NYC Active Design Guidelines to promote physical fitness and reduce obesity through indoor and outdoor fitness areas and by encouraging stair use. Due to all of these sustainable features and more, Mount Sinai Hospital selected Arbor House for a study on the effect of healthy living on asthma and obesity. The findings of a related study, Impact of LEED-Certified Affordable Housing on Asthma in the South Bronx was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2013, http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/progress_in_community_health_partnerships_research_education_and_action/summary/v007/7.1.garland.html supported the supposition that LEED-Platinum living has a beneficial effect on respiratory health.

In addition to providing affordable housing, the facility provides fresh produce grown in its rooftop hydroponic farm. The farm is operated by Sky Vegetables, an urban agriculture company based in Boston. Sky Vegetables oversees a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) arrangement in which residents can purchase shares in what gets produced. Sky Vegetables will make 40% of the produce available to the community through local outreach to schools, hospitals and markets.

Arbor House was built on land within the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Forest Houses complex. There are 16 studios, 33 one-bedroom units, and 75 two-bedroom units in the 8-story, 124-unit affordable development. One apartment is reserved for a superintendent. The apartments have been designated for low-income households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), or $49,800 for a family of four. Twenty-five percent of the total units have a preference for NYCHA residents and those on NYCHA’s waitlist. In addition, there are 43 sub-level parking spots available on site. Residents have first priority to rent these spaces on a monthly basis.

The total development cost for Arbor House was approximately $37.7 million. HDC provided $15.5 million in tax-exempt bond financing that was reduced to $3.9 million at permanent conversion, and $8 million of its own corporate subsidy. HPD contributed $7.4 million in City Capital. The State’s investment includes: $2.5 million through HCR’s Homes for Working Families (HWF) program and $160,000 provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through its Multifamily Performance Program. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and City Council Member Helen Foster jointly contributed nearly $2 million in funding. The development received $12.8 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Equity. RBC Capital Markets acted as Tax Credit Syndicator. J.P. Morgan Chase was Tax Credit Investor.

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About the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC)

Since 2000, HDC has issued roughly 10% of all the multi-family housing revenue bonds in the U.S. and since 2003 HDC has raised more than $6.7 billion in financing for affordable housing developments, including providing in excess of $1 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves. In Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s annual listing of the nation’s top ten funders of multifamily housing, HDC is the only municipal entity on the list. In 2013, HDC was the third largest affordable housing lender in the U.S. after Citi and Wells Fargo, beating out Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Capital One. Since 2003, HDC has partially financed the creation or preservation of nearly than 74,000 affordable units. Multifamily buildings financed by HDC contain more than 1.7 million square feet of commercial space. For additional information, visit: www.nychdc.com.