HDC And HPD Join OMNI NY LLC And Partners To Break Ground On A
New 176-Unit Affordable Energy-Efficient Rental Development In The Bronx 

Twenty Percent of the New Morris Avenue Development Will Serve Formerly Homeless Households


Bronx, N.Y. – The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Gary Rodney and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Assistant Commissioner Susan Kensky joined Omni New York, LLC’s Managing Directors and Co-Founders Eugene Schneur and Mo Vaughn and project partners to break ground on the 655 Morris Avenue development in the Melrose neighborhood of the Bronx. The new development will include 175 low- and moderate-income units of affordable housing, excluding one superintendent unit.  Twenty percent of the development’s units will be available to formerly homeless households. In addition to other green features, the sustainable construction of this building will include the installation of a cogeneration system that will reduce costs as well as the building’s dependency on electricity supplied by Con Edison or other energy providers. The developers will seek to receive LEED Silver Certification for this development.

The construction of 655 Morris Avenue will be financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan, to finance the creation and preservation of 200,000 units of affordable housing. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the city’s history, its goal is to help address the crisis of affordability in our city by reaching more than half a million New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes to those in the middle class who face ever-rising rents in their neighborhoods.

“655 Morris Ave is emblematic of a core goal of the Mayor's Housing New York plan; building green, energy efficient, and affordable developments,” said HDC President Gary Rodney. “This new development promises to help contribute to a greener more sustainable environment.  In addition, I fully expect this development to bring added value through its commercial and community facility space to a community that has seen a significant amount of investment from HDC and our partners at HPD.  I thank our partners at Omni New York LLC, Mill Plain Properties, LLC, Alliant Capital, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.”

 “It important that the housing we build is not only affordable but also sustainable and energy-efficient,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “The Housing New York plan emphasizes the importance of making a healthy living environment affordable to New Yorkers regardless of income, and this new development at 655 Morris Avenue will serve this goal. At the same time, this groundbreaking represents a new direction for Omni. They made their name preserving and renovating affordable housing and I am delighted that they are taking on this new role – if we are to achieve our housing production and preservation goals, we need to expand the number of developers we depend on to do this work. I would like to thank our partners at HDC, Omni, Monadnock, and our financing partner Bank of America for helping this community move toward a more environmentally friendly future.”

“We at Omni are very excited to start our first construction project in New York City from the ground-up. It is very fitting that our first new construction project is in the Bronx since it is the Borough in which we did our first acquisition and rehabilitation projects in 2004 at our inception,” said Eugene Schneur, Managing Director and co-founder of Omni New York LLC. “I would like to acknowledge and thank those who made this project possible including HPD, HDC, Monadnock, Mill Plain Properties, LLC, Alliant Capital, and Bank of America.”

Once completed, 655 Morris Avenue will be a fifteen-story new construction on the corner of Morris Avenue and 153rd Street in the Bronx. The development will include 175 new affordable housing units along with approximately 9,500 square-feet of onsite commercial space and 8,600 square-feet for an on-site community facility space. The development will also include 100 parking spaces.

This development is an example of the de Blasio Administration’s commitment to promoting cost-effective design elements to make affordable housing more energy-efficient, healthy and sustainable for its residents and the community as a whole. The development will include a dynamic cogeneration system that will use a natural gas-fueled engine to generate electricity that will be distributed throughout the building. The ‘waste’ heat by-product of the electricity generation will be captured and reused to heat the building’s water heaters and boilers. It is anticipated that the cogeneration system will produce a 23 percent surplus of kilowatt hours of electricity to meet the building’s electricity needs. In addition to the cogeneration system, the building will include energy-efficient appliances and lights, low-flow water fixtures, a passive green roof, and a bicycle storage room for resident use. Since January 2011, HPD has required the developers of new affordable housing construction and substantial renovation projects funded by the City to attain Enterprise Green Communities Certification by adhering to these criteria. 

Of the total 176 units in this development, 153 will be affordable to households earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or no more than $35,280 annually for an individual or $50,340 for a family of four. Twenty-two units will be made affordable to households earning up to 100 percent of the AMI, or no more than $58,800 annually for an individual or $83,900 for a family of four. Thirty-five units will be reserved for formerly homeless households which will be subsidized by Section 8 vouchers. One unit will be set aside for an on-site superintendent. AMI levels are calculated annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Income levels for this development are set by HUD’s 2014 calculations.

The total development cost for 655 Morris Avenue is approximately $63.8 million. This development was financed under HDC’s Low-Income Affordable Marketplace Program (LAMP). HDC funding sources for this development are $31,310,000 in tax exempt bonds and $11,440,000 in subordinate debt. HPD will be providing 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits with a total Tax Credit Equity of $21,185,739. Alliant Capital, Ltd. will act as the tax credit syndicator. Bank of America will act as a lender.

The City of New York requires that all city-subsidized apartments be rented through an Open Lottery System to ensure fair and equitable distribution of housing to eligible applicants. Marketing of the apartments and the application process for the lottery typically begin when construction is approximately 70 percent complete. For more information regarding the lottery process or if you would like to receive an e-mail when HPD updates its available apartment and home website listings for City-subsidized housing in the five boroughs, please visit the Apartment Seekers and Homebuyers pages at Current housing lotteries are also available at Applicants may submit either a paper application or an electronic application. Duplicate applications will be disqualified.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):

HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers through education, outreach, loan and development programs, and enforcement of housing quality standards. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to build and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For more information visit and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us via  and

About the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC):
HDC is the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency and is charged with helping to finance the creation or preservation of affordable housing under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan.  Since 2000, HDC has issued roughly 10% of all the multi-family housing revenue bonds in the U.S. and since 2003 HDC has financed 122,513 housing units using over $13.7 billion in bonds, and provided in excess of $1.5 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves. HDC is the #1 issuer in the nation of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing in eight of the last ten years (2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, & 2004). HDC bonds are rated Aa2/AA+ by Moody's and S&P.  In Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s annual listing of the nation’s top ten funders of multi-family 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. Multi-family buildings financed by HDC contain more than 1.7 million square feet of commercial space. For additional information, visit:   

About Omni New York LLC (ONY):

Omni New York LLC (ONY) is a real estate development company that was founded by Maurice "Mo" Vaughn and Eugene Schneur for the purpose of bringing revitalization and development to various neighborhoods in New York and other states.

ONY focuses not only on the real estate aspect of revitalization and development, but also on the social aspect of the revitalization of the neighborhood by partnering with community and neighborhood groups to provide social services to the community, such as after school programs for children as well as skill building seminars and classes for adults. On the real estate development side, ONY is providing quality, well managed affordable housing in neighborhoods that have historically had a shortage of such affordable housing.

Since December 2004, ONY has acquired and has either rehabilitated or is in the process of rehabilitating 7,117 units of affordable housing in New York state. ONY has also completed the construction of 41 new units of affordable housing in Seneca County, New York.