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Yonkers To Enact $300 Million Public Housing Initiative

The City of Yonkers has been given a $300 million renovation budget to upscale its aging public housing. The initiative, enacted by Yonkers’ Municipal Housing Authority, will use the budget to renovate 20 properties.

“This project will provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for the more than 10,000 residents in public housing, create hundreds of construction jobs and boost the economic revitalization of our city that [Yonkers] Mayor [Mike] Spano has been working so hard to bring about,” said Joseph Shuldner, Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers executive director.

The renovation project, which will take place over a series of three years, will include improvements to roofing, flooring, boilers, bathrooms, and kitchens as well as other additional features.

According to the 2017 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, 84% of homeowners reported upgrading their kitchens and lighting during a renovation project, but apartment tenants have little control over the design and amenities of their homes. With $300 million at their disposal, MHACY will be able to improve the living conditions of 10,000 Yonkers residents.

According to Yonkers Daily Voice, the first of the renovations will take place at the James O’Rourke Townhouses in east Yonkers where 200 apartments will be rehabilitated and four new units will be built.

To fund the project, Shuldner says MHACY will be enlisting the assistance of outside developers. One such developer includes Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit based in Maryland. Other renovations across the city will be funded under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program.

According to Westfair Communications, the Rental Assistance program will allow MHACY and the city of Yonkers to use tax credits to attract private investors.

However, private investors aren’t the only potential source of funding. Shuldner is also working with New York officials to ensure that the city’s project will be included in the state’s annual budget. New York has a budget of $125 million that goes toward public housing outside New York City. Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly members Shelley Mayer and Gary Petlow are also pushing for the initiative’s funding.

“The proposal and work to renovate these units has been in the pipeline for some time now,” said Stewart-Cousins. “I’m happy this year’s state budget will allow needed housing funds to flow and I look forward to watching these plans come to fruition.”