Robert C. Larson Awards 2018 Finalist: New York City Housing Development Corporation

New York City’s Housing Development Corporation introduced the Mixed-Middle Income (M2) Program in 2015 with the purpose of encouraging new production of workforce housing for middle-income New Yorkers, while simultaneously creating income-diverse neighborhoods.

Middle-income housing is an essential component of any strategy to promote sustainable community revitalization and economic diversity throughout New York City’s neighborhoods. The city needs programs that can provide housing to a range of income levels. Teachers, fire fighters and police officers are just some of the many people critical to the local economy. The city is only improved when these workers can afford to raise their families in the communities they serve.

Further, programs designed to reach middle-income families are necessary both to keep those households in neighborhoods that are becoming more expensive, and to encourage middle-income households to move into and help diversify developing neighborhoods. Every neighborhood in New York City should be an inclusive environment for households of all incomes to live, work, and play.

The M2 Program fosters economic diversity in New York City’s neighborhoods by producing affordable units at different income levels. This program requires a minimum of 20% units for low-income households, minimum of 30% for moderate incomes, with a maximum of 50% of units for middle-income households. To do this, the Program combines a first mortgage, funded with proceeds from the sale of variable or fixed-rate tax-exempt bonds, with a second mortgage, funded with HDC corporate reserves, and a third mortgage subsidy loan from the NYC Housing Preservation and Development.

Since June 2015, HDC has financed 7 developments with 1,746 units of newly constructed affordable housing. One such example is Alvista Jamaica, a finalist for this year’s Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing awards. Many of the developments financed under M2 are located in neighborhoods where the cost for preservation and new construction of workforce housing has continued to rise. The M2 Program is a tool by which to help answer this continued need for workforce housing.

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