NYCHA Announces $261 Million in Completed Renovations for Three Developments in the Bronx

Image Credit: NYCHA.

The private and non-profit partnership allows for more funding while maintaining resident public housing rights. On February 17, 2021, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced the completion of upgrades in three NYCHA developments across the Bronx. The upgrades at the Baychester, Murphy, and Betances Houses impact 54 buildings and 1,810 units and are the home to an estimated 4,300 people. The renovations cost $261 million. 

The projects were completed through the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program. Through PACT, developments unlock additional funding by converting to Project-Based Section 8, a more stable federally funded program. The units remain permanently affordable, residents retain the same basic rights they would have through the public housing program, and funding is unlocked to be used for repairs and upgrades. The program functions through partnerships with non-profit and private developers that are selected based on resident input. After converting to Project-Based Section 8, NYCHA leases the land and buildings to the selected development partners. The development partners are then responsible for property management and providing community programs and enhanced social services. 

The upgrades for Baychester and Murphy Houses were managed by Camber Property Group, L+M Development Partners and MBD Community Housing Corporation. The Betances Houses upgrades were managed by RDC, a joint venture by MDG Design + Construction and Wavecrest Management. 

The 54 impacted buildings were constructed between 1906 to 1974 and suffered from decades of lack of federal investment for renovations or upkeep. The upgrades range from in-unit renovations, roofing replacements, facade repairs, entry upgrades, nearly eleven acres of new walking paths, lawns, ball courts, social spaces and playgrounds. New social services will be provided at each renovated location, including access to mental health care, youth employment programs, emergency assistance programs, food pantries, and educational enrichment services. BronxWorks will help provide social services for Baychester and Murphy Houses, and the Catholic Charities Archdiocese will help provide services for the Betances Houses. Updates and renovations are provided based on resident feedback about what changes were needed.

Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been stated, “PACT continues to be one of the best tools at our disposal to bring quality renovations and new job opportunities to NYCHA families throughout New York City. The completion of construction at Baychester Houses, Murphy Houses, and Betances Houses will ensure that the residents of these vibrant communities have the better homes they deserve, and guarantees both the affordability and quality of those homes for generations to come.”

NYCHA Chair and CEO Greg Russ stated, “Today’s completion of construction is the result of two years of dedicated engagement with our residents around the quality-of-life improvements they wanted to see for their homes. This project is a testament to the idea that exceptional housing quality upgrades, modern landscape design features, and enhanced community resources can be realized without sacrificing long-term affordability and resident rights.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


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