CITY LIMITS

COMMUNITY HOUSING NEWS
MAY 1978
VOL. 3 NO.4
"PYRAMIDS" RISE IN
HARLEM
Imam AI-Hajj K. Ahmad Tawfiq studies workmanship in the new community room.
by Susan Baldwin
"These are our pyramids that we've been rebuilding
to last for time to come. We didn't cut any comers."
This is how AI-Hajj K. Ahmad Tawfiq, the spiritual
leader and founder of the Mosque of Islamic
Brotherhood, Inc., recently described the "gut"
rehabilitation sweat equity work in two buidings in
Harlem near the edge of Central Park. The Mosque is a
Sunni (Orthodox) Muslim community and organization
with headquarters in a renovated brownstone at 257
West 113th St.
Tawfiq, a thoughtful, exacting individual with a wry
humor, was born and raised in New York City and
founded the Mosque in 1964, after a number of years of
study at AI-Azhar University in Cairo where he became
multi-lingual and studied many ancient cultures. He is
very proud of his buildings, and so are the people who
have been working to make them a reality.
The buildings, located at SS St. Nicholas Ave. and
132 West 113th St. , are within weeks of occupancy.
Each will provide housing for seven Muslim families.
continued on page 14
REHABILITATION SCORES
IN SECTION 8 FUNDING by Susan Baldwin
In an effort to spread scarce federal subsidy money
for housing as far as possible, the City and State have
joined forces to allocate 520.3 million of Section 8 funds
for the rehabilitation and construction of 24 projects
comprising 2,634 housing units throughout the five
boroughs.
Victor Marrero, Commissioner of the State Division
of Housing and Community Renewal, and Nathan
Leventhal, Commissioner of the Department of
Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), made
the joint announcement on May 17, revealing a
program which calls for more than twice as many
rehabilitated units (1,809) as new ones (825).
ANHD members figured prominently in the set-
aside, Los Sures leading the way with 112 units of new
construction, followed by Manhattan Valley Develop-
n ment Corp. and Sunset Park Redevelopment Commit-
tee with 75 and 69 units of rehabilitated housing,
respectively.
Marrero described the new process of joint
consultation as reflecting that"the City and State have
common objectives and we are working together to
achieve them. These include stressing low-rise devel-
opment that fits in with the scale and character of
existing communities, emphasizing rehabilitation and
moving ahead with critical projects that are of
particular significance to the future of their communi-
ties. "
According to Leventhal, the City imposed' 'rigorous
cost limits" on prospective developers "to make the
limited subsidy dollars go further," and as a result, the
City and State were able to allocate "more than 300
units above the 2,300 previously estimated."
To foster minority participation in the development of
the projects, Leventhal explained, about 1,000 of the
housing units have been assigned to minority
developers.
The allocations for the new and rehabilitated Section
8 set-aside are as follows for the five boroughs for the
fiscal year October 1, 1978-September 30, 1979:
1978 SECTION 8 SET ASIDE
NEW REHAB TOTAL
Bronx 217 408 625
Brooklyn 112 590 702
Manhattan 354 281 635
Queens 530 530
Staten Island
-.ill ~
825 1809 2634
2
Prior to the announcement of this year's allocation,
HPD Assistant Commissioner Barry Light, whose
Community Development division reviews Section 8
applications, was asked to explain the process by which
the City and the State make their final selections for the
funding.
"It's a very hard process," he said. "Right now, we
must have at least 500 projects, and close to 40,000
units of housing proposed, and of all of these, a
significant number are good proposals ... . Very few of
them will be rejected outright ... We'll keep them on
file."
The few projects that were rejected outright for
Section 8 subsidy, he explained, included new
construction planned for privately owned sites, and new
construction or rehabilitation of housing designated
exclusively for the elderly.
To house the elderly, the federal government
allocates special funding under Section 202 for
construction and rehabilitation, Light explained.
In addition to being examined for total costs, projects
were also judged on the merits of their design and
density.
"Certain neighborhoods are already quite dense,"
Light said. "To construct yet another high-rise in this
atmosphere only exacerbates the situation. People
should be building more humane structures, and if the
decisions are made keeping this in mind, you end up
with a better neighborhood in the long run." He also
noted that Mayor Koch favors a policy of non-elevator,
low-rise plans for new construction.
Both Light and Lloyd Kaplan, a deputy commissioner
at the State Division of Housing, stressed the
importance of selecting buildings and areas that are not
surrounded by widespread abandonment. They also
said that the readiness of projects for construction was
not a key factor in choosing sites.
"The decisions were based a great deal on the
vitality of the neighborhood, whether or not the
structure in question had some relationship to the
neighboring area," said Kaplan, referring to the
example of the allocation of 212 units for rehabilitation
on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.
"These buildings haven't been vacant more than
four months," he explained. "But, if you let this
housing stock slip in this very crucial area, then you will
lose some of the best housing in the city' ... Once it is
gone, you will never get it back, and that signals defeat
of tragic proportions."
"I am just so surprised that we got this," said Leah
continued on page 10
SUN DAY BRIGHTENS THE FUTURE
by Bernard Cohen
Pinning on a Sun Day button following an energy "speak out "
on the roof of 519 East 11th Street, the city' s first building with
solar and wind energy systems.
New Yorkers eyeing the sun from widely differing
angles contemplated their future as a solar society last
month at exhibits, conferences, workshops and other
events staged in a weeklong celebration of Sun Day.
Sun Day' s goal was to draw attention to solar energy,
not as some exotic hope for the future, but as a realistic
alternative that, given the proper support, can soon
begin to substantially reduce the country's dependence
on fossil and nuclear fuels.
The events of April 29-May 6, like the weather,
offered sharp contrasts. There were symbolic activities
such as the "Sunrise Celebration" at the United
Nations. More technical matters such as installation
and construction of solar energy systems were
discussed at workshops. Wall Street investors were
wooed by solar industry officials promising profits. Low
income tenants praised solar and proclaimed an
"Energy Bill of Rights." The Citicorp skyscraper in
midtown Manhattan offered an exhibition of energy-
conscious architectural designs while an energy van
traveled to poor neighborhoods to explain the solar
potential.
While sentiments all ran in favor of solar energy, the
words used to describe them often sounded as if they,
came from different dialects. There was the philosophi-
cal eloquence of Dr. Margaret Mead, the anthropolo-
gist, who said the sun will open new avenues of growth
for our civilization and inspire a sharing spirit. "We are
moving into a world where we will share our sun, and
one man's gain is not another man's loss," she said.
"Each country can develop in its own way without
competing or hurting its neighbor."
3
Another solar advocate, though from another
vantage point, was Sheldon Butt, president of the Solar
Energy Industries Association. His dialect was more
studded with facts and figures. The solar industry has
been growing at the rate of 150 per cent a year and
SEIA now has 850 members, he told a conference on
the economics of solar energy at the Chase Manhattan
Bank. Sixty thousand solar water heaters were installed
last year, according to Butt. That number is expected to
rise to 120,000 this year, 600,000 in 1982 and $1.4
million in 1992. By that year, he said, solar could be a
$200 billion business. "We do expect to be a major
industry. There is great growth potential and your task
is to select the available groups from among us that are
going to succeed," he said.
Not far away, about 75 people huddled under a tent
stretched across a tenement rooftop on East 11th
Street. On the adjacent roof, rain pelted the solar glass
panels that provide hot water for the building. Pointing
over his shoulder, Roberto "Rabbit" Nazario, a tenant
there, predicted that "by next year there will be a
whole series of solar systems down to East Fifth Street
hetween Avenues A and B."
David Robinson of the West Harlem Growth
Association noted that there are no solar systems in his
community yet, but he added, "We see our effort as
being vanguarded here. We're all down so let's keep
pushing."
Condemning the "unregulated, monopolistic utility
companies" such as Consolidated Edison, City Council
Member Ruth Messinger told the assemblage that
"solar energy makes more sense because no one has
found a way to make the sun cost money, no one has
found a way to stop the sun from coming out and no one
has found a way to nationalize the sun."
During the Sun Day week observance, many issues
were discussed including the importance of energy
conservation through proper building weatherization,
the high initial cost of solar equipment, passive forms
of solar energy, legal issues such as protection of the
solar skyspace, energy and jobs, problems with HUD's
grants program and the fate of President Carter's
energy package.
Evidence of solar's growth turned up in a number of
forms. According to a Department of Energy report
distributed at one conference, solar hot water, space
heating and/or cooling systems were installed in
between 12,000 and 24,000 (new and existing) homes
during the first half of 1977. Sale of solar collectors in
that period was up 54 per cent from the second half of
1976 and 168 per cent greater than a year ago.
Estimates of how much of the nation's energy needs
could be shouldered by solar by 2025 varied from 25 per
cent to more than 50 per cent-all assuming
Congressional approval of tax incentives that are part of
President Carter's stalled energy program. The Council
on Environmental Quality released a study, entitled
Solar Energy-Progress and Promise, on April 20 that
maintained that solar energy is capable now of being a
major power source and criticized the federal govern-
ment's energy priorities over the past 20 years.
Many of the energy experts agreed that solar energy
is most likely to be economically competitive against all
electric, to a lesser degree against oil and not at all
against natural gas.
George Hudelson, vice president for engineering and
research at Carrier Corp., predicted it will be five to ten
years before solar will begin to playa significant role in
home heating and cooling. He said economic forces
more than new technical breakthroughs will set the
solar course. He noted that 10 states offer tax
incentives for solar, led by California's 55 per cent
credit.
Rep. Richard Ottinger (D-Westchester) charged that
the federal government has "flubbed" on solar, which
he called "the one clean, safe, infinitely renewable
source of energy we can count on m the future."
Ottinger called the proposed $520 million solar
budget (upped by $100 million by President Carter on
Sun Day) a "pittance" compared with Washington's $9
billion overall energy budget. He criticized the
Department of Energy for failure to appoint an
assistant secretary for solar.
Another critic, Mina Hamilton, regional coordinator
for Sun Day activities, called the solar budget
"infinitesimal" and said, "Everyone should let the
President know we don't think it's enough. It will not
bring us into the solar age fast enough."
Many of the solar discussions throughout the week
had a decidedly non-urban focus. Panelists and
speakers tended to cite experiences with single family
homes in places like Colorado, New Mexico, California
and Florida. But the neighborhoods of New York City
are exploring solar too and for environmentalist Barry
Commoner the efforts he witnessed by low income
people to harness the sun conveyed the most
meaningful message of the entire week.
Commoner described a visit to the poor neighbor-
hood of East 11th Street on the Lower East Side where
he smelled charred wood from old fires, tripped over
broken sidewalks and saw the look of alienation in the
eyes of men out of work. Then he climbed to the roof of
519 E. 11th St. and joined the gathering next to the
windmill and the racks of solar collectors.
"They were celebrating in a way which I think marks
the real beginning of what we have to do," Commoner
said. "They were taking the sun into their own hands."
U sing the sun for energy to the tenement, he said, was
an act of " economic independence from a system that
has not yet learned how to share its wealth equitably
and with justice for the people of this country."
He called for the development of neighborhood-
based energy production centers to decrease depen-
dence on the large centralized power stations.
"Whoever can find a way to capture energy themselves
begins to capture the substance of democracy," he
said. 0
F E E L I ~ G . SELF C<?NSCIOUS? A ConEd. son truck parked in front of the U.S. Customs House decorated with a banner in honor of Sun Day.
The bUIlding contained solar energy exhibits.
SOLAR SENSE FOR THE POOR
by Michael Freedberg
The recent Sun Day celebrations drew unprecedent-
ed attention to the potential of alternative, renewable
energy resources supplying much of the nation's
energy needs. But the most encouraging development
for the city's housing movement was the formation of
ATAC-the Appropriate Technology Action Coalition.
The coalition was formed by a large number of neigh-
borhood groups to place the energy needs of low
income residents on the national, state and city agenda,
and to make alternative energy sources financially and
technically feasible for the low income neighborhoods.
The ATAC groups focused on energy conservation
and solar energy development as the most appropriate
and available strategies for the low income neighbor-
hoods that have been hardest hit by the energy crisis.
In older inner city neighborhoods, already suffering
from a declining commercial and tax base, redlining
and escalating insurance costs, the increase in fuel
expenses has often been the last straw in the abandon-
ment process.
But almost no attention has been focused on the cri-
tical energy needs of low income city dwellers. It is
landlords who benefit from howeowner energy loans
and weatherization grants from state and federal
agencies. Most public grant programs have been
oriented towards single family dwellings. The terms of
bank loans, even if residents were eligible for them, are
prohibitive. And tax incentives built into national
energy policy simply do not apply to those who have
very little taxable income in the first place.
Furthermore, the major direction in public policy is
toward increased use of coal and nuclear power,
centralized forms of energy production that are unable
to provide the neighborhoods with what is needed first
and foremost-jobs. They also increase the reliance of
these neighborhoods on the large utilities that have
been a disaster for low income people.
The federal government has responded with emer-
gency energy payments for those with particular hard-
ships. These payments are neither sufficient to meet
the need, nor do they resolve the basic problem of
rising fuel costs and continued energy dependence.
There is a growing recognition, therefore, that solar
energy and energy conservation are the way to go. Here
Michael Freedberg has been active in developing alter-
native energy resources on the Lower East Side and lives
in New York City's first solar heated building.
5
for the first time energy needs can be met in poorer
neighborhoods without resort to large capital invest-
ments. The technologies employed are small in scale,
easily learned and eminently manageable. They reduce
the dependence on single source power production, and
have the immediate potential for neighborhood based
businesses and the provision of jobs for local residents.
It is no accident that the first solar energy applications
in New York City have been on "sweat equity," co-
operatively owned buildings. Employing these tech-
nologies extends the neighborhood movement in the
city which is based on using existing resources-
people, buildings, land-rather than employing new
ones, at far greater expense. Further government I
support is needed to expand on these early efforts.
At the Neighborhood Energy Conference held prior
to Sun Day, the ATAC groups called for a government
response going far beyond the emergency energy pay-
ments that are now the centerpiece of low income
energy policy. At reasonable interest rates the payback
period for solar energy is extremely cost effective, and
would reduce hot water heating costs by as much as 80
per cent per building.
The main burden lies on the city administration. Out
of the almost $500 million already received in Com-
munity Development Block Grant funds, the city has
not spent a single penny on energy programs.
The ATAC groups developed a number of policy
recommendations central to which are a major commit-
ment from the city to financing energy conservation,
solar energy and energy economic development.
They would make solar energy feasible now,
and would enable energy resources to be developed
under neighborhood control, on a decentralized basis.
As a major innovation, ATAC proposed the develop-
ment of Neighborhood Energy Cooperatives to under-
take bulk fuel purchasing, boiler maintenance and
repair, weatherization and insulation, weatherization
code enforcement, energy auditing, energy legal aid,
energy economic development, energy education and
job training, and energy planning.
Over the next few months, ATAC will be assisting
neighborhood groups in defining their energy needs.
CD proposals will be developed. Working together, the
neighborhood groups can begin to create local
responses to the city's energy crisis-and at the same
time contribute to long-term neighborhood preserva-
tion. 0
CARTER POLICY SLIGHTS HOUSING
by Bernard Cohen
The Carter Administration's new national urban
policy, while giving unprecedented recognition to
neighborhoods, offers no new housing initiatives
despite its declared goal of "making cities more healthy
and improving the lives of people who live in them."
The long awaited urban policy, announced by Carter
on March 27, contains very little-in the opinion of
many-to help low income neighborhoods address the
problem of substandard housing.
Out of $4.4 billion in budget authority, 51. 7 billion in
new tax incentives and 52.2 billion in guaranteed loan
authority sought by the President in Fiscal Year 1979,
the only housing proposal calls for a 5150 million
increase in Section 312 rehabilitation loans. The 312
program provides 3 per cent, 20-year loans.
Ted Wysocki of the National Training and Informa-
tion Center in Chicago called housing the weakest
element of the urban policy. Asked for her view,
Florence Roisman of the National Housing Law Project
in Washington, said, "As somebody concerned with
opening up housing opportunities for low income
people, there is no point in having an opinion about the
urban policy. There is nothing in there at all to increase
housing opportunities for poor people." Andrew Mott
of the Center for Community Change in Washington
called the housing request "small potatoes."
They and others said that not only is the housing
piece disappointingly small, but that the 312 program
has its limitations and could, in fact, be damaging
unless the loans are carefully targeted.
The 312 program was originally designed for
moderate rehabilitation of one-to-four family structures
with the homeowner in occupancy. It was used his-
torically in more stable neighborhoods. Loans are now
available for vacant buildings and mUltiple dwellings.
However, they do not cover acquisition costs, they can
be made only in specially designated areas and New
York City requires a minimum number of buildings per
application, making it difficult for individual owner-
occupants to utilize the program.
Advocates of better housing for the poor say tbat 3
per cent interest is not a deep enough subsidy for many
low income people, and some cite past misuse of the
program in upper income areas such as Chicago's Lin-
coln Park section. Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., has
proposed a sliding interest rate for the 312 program
depending on income.
Wysocki particularly criticized the urban policy for
ignoring HUD's large inventory of FHA abandoned
properties. He said the Urban Rehabilitation Grants, or
so-called "Double Dollars," bill (H.R. 11500) intro-
6
duced by Rep. Jonathan Bingham, D-N.Y., would offer
a much greater incentive for rehabilitation than any-
thing in the urban policy. The bill would match federal
dollars for Community Development Block Grant
dollars committed by local governments to rehab.
Roisman said the urban policy should have provided
a vast increase for public housing "as the cheapest and
most effective for housing the poor" and sh\>uld have
prohibited the use of federal funds for projects that
displace low income people.
Marcia Kaptur, assistant director of the White House
domestic policy staff, acknowledged the small housing
element but said the urban policy does not encompass
all of the federal government's initiatives.
For example, housing assistance, primarily Section
8, has already been given a large boost this year, she
said. "The Fiscal Year 78 budget has expanded the
numb"'t of families receiving assistance from 200,000
to400,000.For HUD, that is a huge amount."
Kaptur also cited the 51.5 billion Consumer Co-op
Bank, which passed the House last year and is ready for
debate in the Senate, as a potentially large financing
source for neighborhood development groups.
According to the President, a major goal of the urban
policy is to stimulate greater involvement by neighbor-
hood organizations and voluntary associations. "For
the first time, we are called upon, through our neigh-
borhood organizations, to become partners in urban
revitalization," said Milton Kotler of the National As-
sociation of Neighborhoods. New neighborhood initia-
tives include:
• $15 million Neighborhood Self-Help Fund in HUD
to assist neighborhood and voluntary organizations for
planning and development of housing and other revi-
talization efforts. One source said the mayors fought
hard to kill this but that Carter himself insisted on
retaining it. However, projects will be subject to
approval by the mayors. The program appears to be
aimed at more sophisticated community-based organi-
zations with a demonstrated record of carrying out a
range of physical and economic revitalization activities
and already developed comprehensive neighborhood
plans. As part of the contract with HUD, organizations
must provide technical assistance to less advanced
groups.
• $40 million to create within ACTION 1) an Urban
Voluntep-r Corps of architects, lawyers, planners and
others with special skills matched to the needs of
neighborhood organizations. Grants of $65,000 to
$250,000 would go to a lead agency designated by the
mayor to administer the program. 2) a Good Neighbor
Fund to provide small grants (average $5,000) for tools,
supplies, and other equipment to support ongoing
voluntary projects, housing presumably included. 3)
fixed income counseling. 4) a small national demon-
stration program for community energy projects. The
ACTION money appears to be more geared to fledgling
groups than the HUD fund. The Senate version of the
ACTION bill would require 80 per cent of the funds tar-
geted to projects in low income neighborhoods. Insiders
say support for the legislation is stronger in the Senate
than in the House. Bills have been approved by House
and Senate committees and await floor action.
• $10 million for crime prevention efforts directed
toward neighborhood involvement in crime-watch,
escort services for the elderly, assistance to shop-
keepers and other projects instituted through LEAA
and ACTION.
• $12.4 million to support Community Development
Credit Unions (see CDCU article in January issue of
City Limits), often the only source of credit assistance
in low income neighborhoods. Jointly administered by
CSA and the National Credit Union Administration, the
fund would provide $200,000 in seed money for each
CDCU.
• $20 million "Livable Cities" program from HUD to
support neighborhood and community-based arts pro-
grams, urban design and planning activities.
On the issue of redlining, Carter encouraged bank
regulators to develop "strong, consistent and effective
regulations" to implement the Community Reinvest-
ment Act; . proposed creation of an Institute for
Community Investment under the Federal Home Loan
Bank Board to develop a consistent approch to urban
lending; proposed a pilot program to create Neighbor-
hood Commercial Reinvestment Centers under the
Comptroller of the Currency to provide business loans
to revitalize commercial areas; and called upon HUD to
chair a task force to evaluate the availability of credit
and insurance in urban areas.
Enthusiasm over formal recognition of neighbor-
hoods in the urban policy is tempered by two things.
First is the control that mayors retain over some neigh-
borhood programs and second is the uncertainty about
the Carter Administration's ability to steer the urban
package through Congress.
On the first count, the neighborhood revitalization
projects competing for direct funding from HUD must
have mayoral approval; most of the ACTION money will
apparently be funneled the same way, leading some to
suggest an imbalance in the "partnership" of federal,
state and local governments along with neighborhood
organizations and voluntary associations described as
the heart of the urban policy.
And based on Carter's past problems with getting
important domestic legislation through Congress, many
7
wonder how he will fare with his urban policy. "Carter
has not established mastery over the legislative
process," Mott said, "and what he is trying to do [with
the urban policy] will probably be unpopular."
Indeed, the Senate Budget Committee has already
slashed at many major sections of the policy,
apparently because it had not receive the written legis-
lation by the time it voted. A $2.4 billion national
development bank-including $1 billion in interest rate
subsidies for firms wishing to relocate or expand in
"distressed" urban and rural areas, $730 million to in-
crease the limit on industrial revenue bonds and $550
million in economic development grants-was whittled
down to just the grants. The committee also eliminated
$200 million for transportation grants and $1.5 billion in
targeted employment tax credits, and reduced the $150
million increase requested for Section 312 loans to $80
million. It did approve the $1 billion soft public works
program, $50 million for community health centers, $20
million for state incentive grants and the $1 billion sup-
plementary fiscal assistance program.
The committee's recommendations are not binding.
It could well approve the proposals in time for the next
budget resolution. The House Budget Committee has
approved all of the Administration's urban policy
budget proposals. But there is concern outside govern-
ment whether the White House can shepherd its
program through a Congress that may not be in a mood
to spend a lot of new money on the cities. Recognizing
the problem, Carter has brought in a separate staff,
headed by Anne Wexler, to keep track of the 16 pieces
of legislation, three executive orders and 160 adminis-
trative changes called for in the urban policy.
Probably the most controversial proposal is the $2.4
billion national urban development bank, expected to
be subjected to heated debate by Congress. The bank
would provide loan guarantees to businesses that
expand or relocate in distressed areas where unem-
ployment is high and per capita income is low.
Michael Harrington, author of The Other America,
said in an interview with City Limits that the idea of the
bank rested on the "optimistic assumption about the
degree to which you can motivate business to come to
areas like the South Bronx simply by providing cheap
money." He called for "direct federal social invest-
ments" such as a government financed solar energy
industry.
Another critic, Professor Lance Liebman of the Har-
vard Law School, wrote in The New York Times that the
Haw in the bank was that it would commit federal
money without supplying any other ingredient neces-
sary to economic success·
Wysocki said it appeared the bank would favor big
business over "mom and pop stores" and would spur
capital-intensive rather than labor-intensive industries
and possibly continue the flight of jobs to the
suburbs. 0
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
For the benefit of our membership, City Limits is adding a new section called Technical Assistance. Through
our TA pages, we hope to provide practical information that will help you run programs, obtain services,
improve your own operations and save money.
by Anne Hartwell
'FUEL COSTS
As you know, Linda Bergen did very valuable re-
search for ANHD last summer on ways to save money
on fuel, including the question of whether ANHD
should set up its own fuel Co-op. She concluded that the
cheapest source of fuel within the capabilities of the
Association was through the Federation of Protestant
Welfare Agencies group purchasing plan. The Federa-
tion monitors fuel costs per barrel listed in the Journal
of Commerce, pro-rates costs to per gallon delivered
and insists that its companies pass on any reductions in
price.
On the basis of price alone, the Federation's record is
hard to beat. Its prices last winter averaged about 36
cents a gallon for No.4 oil and about 41 cents a gallon
for No. 2 oil.
On the other hand, there is a great deal to be said for
Sample Building Total Building
No. Units: II Expense Budget:
No. Rooms: 43 Annual- $29,140
Commercial Space: I Monthly- $2,428
Cost@
using a local fuel company, not only in terms of emer-
gency deliveries and service but as a valuable com-
munity source of jobs and income. A community group-
purchasing plan may have some of the advantages of
both. Anyone who wants to explore bulk purchasing on
a neighborhood basis should let me know.
Most fuel companies provide a flat monthly budget
plan. Normally, groups have very high fuel bills in the
winter and pay much less in the summer. This can
create serious cash flow problems during the cold sea-
son. The budget plan is a way of avoiding the problem.
The total number of gallons used for a building in a year
is multiplied by an estimated cost per gallon of fuel and
this total dollar figure is divided into twelve equal
monthly payments. (If a building wishes to enter into an
annual service contract, these costs can be paid on the
Federation
Cost@
Month No. Gals. $.44LGal. $.37 LGal. NET SAVINGS
January 2,500 $1,100 925 175
February 1,250 550 462
88
March 2,000 880 740 140
April 2,000 880 740 140
May
June
July 1,000 440 370 70
August 500 220 185 35
September
October 500 220 185 35
November 1,500 660 555 105
December 3,000 1,320 1,1 IO 210
14,250 $6,270 $5,272 $998*
Flat Monthly
Budget Plan Charges: $ 522 $ 439
* Annual saving from the Federation: $90 per unit
8
same monthly basis over the year.)
Budget plans normally start in July (never in the
winter), so although there is not a lot of red tape
involved, the time to start planning is now.
The preceding table is designed to show two things:
the savings from bulk purchasing through the Federa-
tion of Protestant Welfare Agencies and the flat
monthly budget plan charge compared with the large
fluctuation in fuel costs without a plan.
As you can see, the Federation's bulk purchasing
plan saved our sample building $998 over the year or
approximately 15 per cent of its fuel cost. For each
apartment, that meant an annual reduction of $90.
Also, compare the monthly payments. Using the local
fuel company, the building paid $220 in August and
$1,320 in December. With the Federation, payments
ranged from $185 in August to $1,110 in December.
Using the flat budget plan, the building would have
paid $522 every month to the local fuel company and
$439 to the Federation.
.'\UDITING COSTS
Several groups have asked me about ways to cut the
high cost of auditing fees.
An annual or semi-annual independent audit by a
Certified Public Accountant is required under several
funding programs. The cost is based on a per hour rate,
usually between $20 and $35 an hour. This means that
smaller groups and groups that do not have a full-time
or experienced bookkeeper will be penalized because
some information needed for the audit will either not be
readily available or'w.ill not be recorded on a standard
accounting form that the auditor has worked with
before.
I have spoken to several auditors about this and they
suggest two partial remedies, both of which involve
saving an auditor's time.
First, bring books up to date prior to the audit. Any
entries scribbled in margins or attached to budgets
should be properly entered on regular ledgers.
Second, hire one firm to audit five, ten or more
groups using more or less standardized accounting
methods and forms.
I suggest that any group whose books are clear to
their own bookkeepers but may not be as clear to an
outsider call me at ANHD and I will set up an appoint-
ment for ANHD accounting assistant to spend a day or
two (FREEl) helping to get everything in perfect shape
for the auditors.
Moreover, we are developing a set of bookkeeping
forms based on a collection of good systems used by
many of the groups. When they are ready, I will send a
set to anyone interested in looking at them.
Even if you want to keep your bookkeeping system
exactly as it is, if your auditing costs are high, let me
know and I will try to shop for an alternative. 0
9
Technical Assistance
Questionnaire*
Which of the following subjects are of most
interest to you, either in the form of direct help or
information through seminars? Please number in
order of preference, leaving blank ones that don't
interest you. Then mall the form back to me.
Cost of Auditing
_ Agency Books
_Buildings
_Other
_Tax Status
_ Payroll Deductions
_Incorporation
_ Co-op Formation
Programs
_312
_SHIP
_ Direct Sales
_ Community Management
_Section 8
_ Rent Subsidy
_ Construction
_ Building Management
_ Vacant Lots
Economic Development
_ Storefronts
_ Major Development
_ Fundraising
_ Credit Unions
Bulk Fuel Purchasing
_ Central Purchasing
_ Neighborhood Purchasing
Supplies
_Office
_ Maintenance
_Locks
_ Window Gates
Repair Services
_ Bell and Buzzer
_ Painting
_Roofing
Other
Name:
\
\
Address: ______________________________ ___
*For ANHD members and CETA VI umbrella groups
only.
COALITION DEMANDS
SIMPLIFIED 'SALES'
During the past month groups around the city have
banded together in a Direct Sales Coalition in an effort
to simplify and implement the present non-functioning
program.
The city's three-year-old Direct Sales program is a
program under which city-owned, residential proper-
ties can be sold "as is" without public auction directly
to approved, non-profit tenant and community groups
at a relatively low, negotiated price.
To bring attention to problems with direct sales as
currently administered, Coalition members were to
demonstrate later this month outside City Hall, calling
for a simplification of the program and an end to the
long bureaucratic delays in its implementation.
The Coalition recently sent a letter to Assistant
Commissioner Carl Callender of HPD's Division of
Evaluation and Compliance, calling for these changes
in the program he supervises. Copies went to Mayor
Koch and HPD Commissioner Nathan Leventhal.
In addition, the group sent letters to tenants of
buildings known to be in the Direct Sales program,
pointing out why the program "is not operating
effectively and is in need of major revision."
Asserting that only one building was sold through the
program last year, and that only three other buildings
have just recently entered into management agree-
ments with HPD, the letter outlined five major problem
areas: (1) the long intake procedure; (2) the terms ofthe
management "lease"; (3) the procedure for determin-
ing purchase price; (4) the lack of guarantee at the end
of the management period that groups will be able to
buy their buildings at a fixed, low price; and (5) the
restrictions of the "regulatory agreement" by which
the City supervises properties after sale to community
groups or low income tenants.
The City currently owns about 6,000 multiple
dwellings and with the upcoming title vestings will
probably acquire from 15,000 to 20,000 buildings within
the year. .
As of March, however, HPD reported only about 90
properties in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn that
are at various earlier stages in the program's pipeline.
"For the past ten years, the only viable sector that
you could rely on for programs was the private sector,
and that alternative is non-existent now," said Jeff
Eichenwald of 152 Forsyth St., Manhattan. One of the
leaders of the Coalition, Eichenwald stressed the
importance of making government more accountable in
administering its housing programs.
"There is little or no profit in low and middle income
programs unless they are government-subsidized," he
said. "We are demonstrating at City Hall because we
know that Koch doesn't hear, we know that HPD has
10
made organizational changes and talks about all its
program changes ... What we are saying in our actions
is that they all have to start digging into the housing
mess and understand that a lot is needed, particularly
money and cooperation with community groups, if the
City is not going to be the largest slumlord in New
York."
For more information about the Coalition, call Wendy
Faxon at 749-4803. 0
KOCH THREATENS EVICTIONS
Mayor Koch's recent threat to evict thousands of
tenants in city-owned buildings who do not pay rent
drew a quick response from ANHD President Margaret
McNeill.
"For the Mayor of the City of New York to
characterize nonpayment of rent by 48 per cent of
tenants of city-owned housing as an outrageous situa-
tion without also noting the deteriorated conditions and
lack of essential services in many of these properties
strikes us as equally outrageous," McNeill said in a
telegram to Koch.
Koch made the announcement May 2 following a
meeting with officials of the Department of Housing
Preservation and Development concerning the 2S,OOO
housing units the city expects to take over this year
from owners who stop paying their real estate taxes.
"In the prior administration we had a situation where
they did not move to evict tenants who did not pay
rent," Koch snapped. "The judges were told not to
evict. We're going to change that. What an outrage."
In response, McNeill called the mayor's outburst "a
grossly one-sided position in view of the disgraceful
legacy of DRE management and maintenance of a large
number of these properties, particularly in the poorest
neighborhoods of our city."
She said the tenants in many poorly maintained
buildings owned by the city pool their rent to make
repairs "rather than mail rent checks to a bureaucracy
incapable of providing decent housing services."
She urged the mayor to encourage tenant self-help
management by experienced nonprofit neighborhood-
based housing organizations as an important tool for
dealing with the large number of properties the city will
be acquiring. 0
Section 8 continued
Schneider ofthe Manhattan Valley Development Corp.,
about its proposal for rehabilitation of four buildings,
three abandoned, at 152-164 Manhattan Avenue.
"This is good news," said Kathy Wylde, of the
Sunset Park Redevelopment Committee. "We were
pretty sure that we were in the running. Now we hope
we can expedite the acquisition of our buildings ...
We're glad, though, that the allocations are going to be
in writing, and are not just oral commitments." 0
DAVIS, RAYMOND HIRED
AS HPD REORGANIZES
The make-up of the Leventhal team at HPD neared
completion this month with the appointment of two new
deputy commissioners, one assistant commissioner,
and an executive director.
Robert K. Davis, whose career in city government
spans 15 years, is the new deputy commissioner for
operations at $46,500. Most recently head of Direct
Child Care Services/Special Services for Children at
HRA, Davis takes on responsibility for the coordination
of all current HPD programs, with duties similar to
those of former First Deputy Commissioner Paul
Dickstein.
In a reorganization and expansion of housing
management services, Charles Raymond, former
deputy commissioner in the City's Department of
Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services, is
deputy commissioner for property management at
$46,500, while former Deputy Commissioner Aramis
Gomez will continue his duties in relocation operations
with the new rank of assistant commissioner, reporting
to Rayr,10nd.
" new division of In Rem property management will
be headed by an assistant commissioner yet to be
named. In the meantime, Raymond will oversee the
work of this division, which is slated to take over
jurisdiction of the city's In Rem properties Sept. 1 from
GSA.
The office of development, headed by Deputy
Commissioner Peter Joseph, has been divided into
three divisions.
Jeff Heintz, formerly deputy assistant director,
Office of Management and Budget, heads the
reorganized division of rehabilitation, with responsi-
bility for various rehabilitation programs previously
administered by the division of community develop-
ment . That division, headed by Assistant Commission-
er Barry Light, takes on responsibility for the
neighl?orhood preservation program, in a move
intended to reinforce the division's role in community
coordination. Assistant Commissioner Ruth Lerner
continues as head of the division of housing supervi-
sion.
Bruce Gould, currently with the Community Service
Society and a former deputy commissioner at HPD, will
become executive director of the newly-created office of
program and management analysis, reporting directly
to Commissioner Leventhal. Gould will assume his new
duties sometime in June.
Assistant Commissioner of Government Liaison
Marvin Markus has been upgraded to the new post of
deputy commissioner for policy and government
liaison. He will serve as HPD's political adviser, and
deal directly with legislators in Albany on behalf of
11
HPD programs.
Susan Gaffney, of the office of administrative
services, takes on the new position of deputy
commissioner for administration, which entails central-
ized responsibility for all fiscal and administrative
functions within HPD.
Daniel Joy continues as deputy commissioner for rent
and housing maintenance. 0
SUNSET PARK REHAB
Work began on May 1 on the first two of 21 buildings
to be renovated in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, under the
Small Homes Improvement Program. After more than
two years of planning, negotiating and approvals, a
SHIP contract between Sunset Park Redevelopment
Committee, Inc. and HPD was signed and bids for the
work on the first buildings solicited.
The sounds of construction drifting from 331 and 333
56th Street come from a crew of ten neighborhood
youths hired by the Sunset Park Community Corpora-
tion under a Youth Community Conservation Improve-
ment Project program. These 18 and 19 year old out-of-
school participants are assigned to SPRC to do the
initial cleaning out and gutting of the buildings prior to
a general contractor coming in to do the renovation.
Under the proposal written by Elizabeth Del Valle,
economic specialist for the Community Corporation, in
conjunction with SPRC, the goal is to assign promising
participants to work as apprentices with the contractors
renovating the buildings to learn construction skills.
The Sunset Park program is one of only two YCCIP pro-
jects in the City offering substantive job training
instead of just temporary employment.
Under the SHIP program, CD II money will cover the
difference between the total development cost which
includes fees, expenses, and construction costs, and
the sales price of the building which is related to the
FHA mortgage appraisal.
The general contractor has been selected and will
begin work as soon as gutting operations are complet-
ed. The YCCIP program is not related to SHIP directly
but was seen as a means to lower the costs of renova-
tion. These first two buildings are also the locations
where SPRC will install solar-assisted domestic hot
water systems under a HUD grant program.
SPRC, Inc. is still looking for CETA VI workers to fill
the following slots:
Secretary/Bookkeeper: Minimum 2 years office
experience, telephone, typing, files, light bookkeeping,
$8,000/year.
Rehabilitation Assistant: Minimum 1 year architec-
tural drafting experience, some field work helpful.
$9,OOO/year.
Call 630-7155 and ask for John Gallagher. 0
MEET SOME AN.HD STAFF
Trevor Wanliss
Trevor Wanliss, ANHD's senior accountant,
still sees his job pretty much the same way he did
when he first joined the staff four months
ago-hectic.
"In my pOSition, I have a great deal of
responsibility," Wanliss said. "If it were not for
the staff and board members who have helped me
piece together facts, I would have had a great deal
of trouble picking up the information I need for
past records."
In February, Wanliss saw his job as challeng-
ing. He still does.
"I feel that we are pretty much up-to-date," he
added, re-emphasizing the importance of the help
he has received from the staff and board.
Prior to joining the ANHD staff, Wanliss served
for two years as assistant to the director of finance
at MEND (Massive Economic Neighborhood
Development), an anti-poverty organization in
East Harlem.
He also served as controller of Yonkers
Community Action program from 1970 to 1973.
From then until he joined MEND, he worked as an
auditor for a public accounting firm.
Wanliss attended the University of London, and
was graduated from Trinity Hall University,
Springfield, 111., with a bachelor of science degree
in finance.
Wanliss is married. He and his wife, Lillette,
live with their two sons, Dean Andrew, 7, and
Mark,17, in the Bronx.
12
John Wu
John Wu, ANHD's new comptroller, is no
novice when it comes to handling finances.
Prior to his arrival here in March, Wu served as
a budget examiner in the City's Office of
Management and Budget (formerly the NYC
Budget Bureau) for five-and-a-half years, and in
this capacity was in charge of running the City's
federally-funded Comprehensive Employment and
Training Act (CETA), beginning September, 1972.
As a budget examiner for the City, he was
responsible for supervising records for some 45 to
50 agencies, ranging from the Board of Ethics to
the Health and Hospitals Corp.
Having had experience with both the CETA II
and CETA VI programs, Wu acknowledges that
CET A VI has "its strengths and weaknesses,"
noting that its earlier requirement that a person
only be un-employed for 15 days "could have
resulted in financial overkill", since the program
was "supposedly designed to hit only the hard
core unemployed."
Asked to comment on his ANHD position, Wu
said, "I find it very challenging. When I came
here there were no books on the CET A side. So, I
had to sit down and create a set of books."
Under his contract arrangements, Wu is paid 75
per cent of his salary from the CETA VI budget
and 25 per cent from ANHD's core funds.
Wu was graduated from Baruch College in 1972
where he majored in accounting and from
Brooklyn Law School in 1977. He was recently
admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
John resides in Levittown, Pa., with his wife
Gloria. and two sons, Michael, 19, and Ronnie, 18.
David Gaither
David Gaither, who is ANHD's project director
for the CETA VI program, heads a staff of 17, and
plans to "run the best CETA VI project in the city.
"We have an excellent program and an
excellent staff," he affirmed, noting that he is
confident that the program, which includes
everything from tenant organizing to housing
management, will meet the "measurable goals
spelled out by the contract for the year's grant
period.
"I think that the idea of carrying out this
program with community groups is excellent," he
continued. "It is very important that the
partiCipants ... feel high about it. The Association
should be commended."
In Gaither's view, the field coordinators, who
monitor performance at the 37 work sites of
ANHD's subcontractors, are part of one family.
One of Gaither's chief responsibilities is to
instruct the coordinators on getting full compli-
ance with the requirements of each CETA
subcontract as set forth by the City's Department
of Employment.
Asked to assess the CETA program, Gaither
said, "I am enjoying it immensely. It's a new kind
of challenge with a fresh begining. I feel a sense of
accomplishment and I'm having fun doing it."
Born in North Carolina, Gaither was raised on
the West Side of Manhattan, and later moved to
Westchester County. His work subsequently took
him to many parts of the country, and he now lives
in Asbury Park, N.J.
13
Before coming to ANHD, Gaither served as
director of operations of the CETA program for
Monmouth County, N.J.
From 1972 to 1975, he was executive director of
the Department of Community Resources for the
City of Oakland, California, and from 1969 to 1972,
he served as vice president of the United States
Research and Development Corp., based in New
York City.
Gaither has also held positions as administrator
of a Job Corps contract for the Federal Electric
Corp. , in Paramus, N.J., and as senior child care
supervisor at the New York State Training School
for Boys, Warwick, N.Y.
A graduate of the New York Institute of
Criminology, Gaither received his Bachelor of
Science degree from Morehouse College, and his
Master of Social Work degree from the University
of California at Berkeley.
City Limits and the entire ANHD staff will be moving
soon. On June 1, our new address will be 115 East 23rd
St., 8th 0., 10010 [between Park Ave. So. and
Lexington Ave.] Our telephone number remains,
674-7610.
.CITY LIMITS.
published monthly by the Association of Neighborhood Housing
Developers, Inc., 29 East 22nd Street, New York, New York 10010
(212) 674-7610
Editor ............. . ........................... Bernard Cohen
Assistant Editor . . ......... . . . ...... . ......... . .. Susan Baldwin
Design and Layout ...... . . . ................. .. . . .. Louis Fulgoni
Production .......... . ..... . ..... . .. . ..... . .. Marianne Czernin
Copyright 1978. All rights reserved. No portion or portions of this News·
leiter may be reprinted without the express wri/len permission of the
Association of Neighborhood Housing Developers, Inc.
St. Nicholas continued
The larger building, 55 St. Nicholas, also contains a
community room to be used for worship and two
commercial spaces, one of which will serve as a herbal
tea room.
The rehabilitation, financed under the first "partici-
pation loan" to close in the city, was made possible by
the Muslim community and its housing corporation, the
55 St. Nicholas Ave. Housing Development Fund Cor-
poration, by two federally-sponsored contracts under
the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act
(CET A) that trained and paid workers, and by the par-
ticipation of three area banks.
Under the Department of Housing Preservation and
Development's (HPD) new participation loan, the
Chemical Bank is providing construction funds, while
the New York Bank for Savings and the Bowery Savings
Bank are "participating" with the City in providing
permanent financing.
In a participation loan, the city puts up a portion of
the mortgage money needed for the rehabilitation at
one per cent interest and the private lender puts up the
rest at the market rate.
According to Christopher Hooke of HPD's Office of
Rehabilitation, the cost of rehabilitating each apart-
ment unit will run between $21,000 and $22,000 for a
monthly rental of about $50 a room. Tenants are
expected to receive Section 8 housing subsidy.
To date, construction costs at 55 St. Nicholas are
$133,000, and $98,000 at 132 West 113th St. The "soft"
costs (architectural fees, etc.) are $36,000 at 55 St.
Nicholas and $33,000 at West 113th St.
The total mortgage at 55 St. Nicholas will be
$170,000, with the banks' share at $105,000 and HPD's
at $65,000. At West 113th St., the total mortgage will
be $133,000, the banks assuming $33,000 of that finan-
cial burden. HPD' s share will be $100,000.
According to Imam (spiritual leader) and founder
Tawfiq, the rehabilitation of these two buildings is just
the first of other proposed housing improvements that
his Muslim community plans to undertake.
"I think some of the best architecture in the city is in
Harlem," he said during a recent interview. "This is
one of the best residential areas ... We have Central
Park here and Morningside Park nearby. We have sub-
ways and bus routes. The main thing is that the area
needs to be cleaned up, and the people need to develop
more of a sense of community involvement and pride."
Commenting on the history of the two buildings,
Talib Abdur-Rashid, the administrative assistant, said,
"It's been quite a struggle and a lot of people's futures
are tied into this project. As our director Tawfiq has
said many times, we are really doing this for our
children. "
Abdur-Rashid pointed out that, even though the
Muslim community first started work on the two
14
buildings in May, 1975, they have been working in the
Harlem community to improve the quality of life for the
past 11 years.
"We are not just helping ourselves by completing
these projects," he explained. "As we see it, we are
benefiting the Harlem community at large because we
are proving that nonprofessional people such as our-
selves can be responsible for providing better housing
for the entire community."
The group's plans include the purchase at a future
date of three abandoned tenements across St. Nicholas
Ave. on West 113th St. If their housing ventures prove
successful, they hope to rehabilitate enough housing to
provide for 100 to 150 families in the area.
Because the federal Davis Bacon Act requires that
union-scale wages be paid on all construction work in
buildings with more than sexen dwelling units-wages
that the Muslim project could not meet-apartment
layouts were altered to produce larger and fewer apart-
ments than before rehabilitation. This resulted in a
preponderance of spacious, well-designed three and
four bedroom apartments.
The CETA contract for the project began in August,
1976, but prior to that date, the Mosque's families had
been at the site doing their own demolition work,
beginning in May, 1975.
"When the CET A contract came through," Abdur-
Rashid explained, " we had completed about 90 to 95
per cent of the demolition. This work had been done by
the male members of our Mosque on the weekends and
in the late afternoon after work. But, what was really
nice about getting this CET A contract was that we were
able to hire some of the men to be construction
trainees. "
Reached at the Chemical Bank last week, Juan Villa-
nueva, director of its urban planning department, con-
firmed that construction was almost complete and that
building occupancy was imminent.
"Our impression of the project is that it is a good
one," he said, emphasizing that all such business
ventures are "risky." But, he was quick to add, "I
expect this one to work out because they [the Muslims]
are providing housing for themselves and are planning
some commercial activity."
Referring to work on the project as having been
"overly cautious and slow," he asserted, "There is no
doubt in my mind and others that we have all learned a
lot from this experience ... There were some delays
when the CET A contracts were not on the same time
schedule as the construction contracts. This cost time
and money that we had to lend to the project, but, by
and large, it was a good, solid learning process for all
concerned, and we [Chemical] expect to go forward
with other projects in the future."
One of the major problems areas with this project, he
added, was in the field of bookkeeping.
"The books could have been in better shape, more
complete, and more up-to-date, but, in general, these
are problems that can be handled with experience."
"We feel that things went very well with this project
considering that this was the first sweat equity partici-
pation loan," said Frances Levenson, director of urban
housing for the New York Bank for Savings.
"These projects, by virtue oftheir uniqueness," she
added, are difficult to evaluate because there is no
cookie-cutter formula to describe them all ... You can't
wholesale a project such as this. You have to look at the
people involved and assess their 'stick-to-it-ness,' their
responsibility to the project ... I think there is no doubt
about this group's intentions. We look forward to the
closing."
If all plans run smoothly, the 14 families should be
enjoying life in the new apartments by the end of June
or early July. 0
CHARLOTTE STREET LEADS BRONX PLAN
New York City, feeling pressure to move quickly with
its plan for the South Bronx, is pushing for
concentrated development of a site that has important
symbolic value but may run into strong local opposition.
The location is the landscape of rubble-filled lots and
abandoned buildings around Charlotte Street near
Crotona Park where President Carter stood last October
and promised federal help for the South Bronx.
It is one piece of the city's draft plan, announced by
Mayor Koch on April 11, that calls for development of
27,500 new and rehabilitated housing units in nine
areas of the South Bronx over the next seven years.
In the first three years for which housing projection
figures are more accurate, the draft plan envisions
5,000 units plus 2,700 units in the Croton a Develop-
ment Area.
The Carter Administration has made a first year
commitment of 1,000 housing subsidy units above and
beyond existing allocations to the South Bronx. The city
must make formal application for those units by May
31.
At the same time, according to city officials, the
federal government is pressuring the city to produce
some visible improvements as soon as possible.
Largely because of the President's visit there, the
city has chosen the Crotona Park site as the vanguard of
its housing effort. The draft plan calls for initial
construction by the New York City Housing Authority
of 600 units of three-story houses on Charlotte Street
(400 units) and Chisholm Street (200 units) followed by
800 units and 1,300 units in the second and third years.
The proposal is already undergoing a staff review at
the City Planning Commission, which must approve it
along with the Board of Estimate.
"On one level, Charlotte Street is symbolic, there's
no question about it," said Barry Light, assistant
commissioner for community development in the
Department of Housing Preservation and Develop-
ment. "It is the most ideal place to show symbolically
that we can put something together."
The location, however, falls within Community Board
3, which is expected to oppose targeting all of the units
around Charlotte Street. "The Charlotte Street area is
not the planning board's number one priority," said
District Manager Dana Driskell. "It is not a reason to
15
develop a housing plan just because the President
strolled through the area. I think the city has
overdramatized the need to have development at that
location where he stood."
Driskell predicted that the community board would
vote to recommend distributing some of the units into
other nearby areas where there are active community-
based housing organizations. He also acknowledged
the possibility of a conflict of interest since some board
members are also members of other community groups
but did not indicate if they would refrain from voting.
Light said Charlotte Street along with all the other
developments listed in the draft are proposals for
discussion and could be altered based on community
response.
He told City Limits recently that the preferred
method for doing Section 8 housing in the South Bronx
will be to team up a developer with a community
housing organization and said the city will be looking
for two things in the local groups. "First, are they
capable of doing the work? And second, quite frankly,
we're concerned about honesty. A lot of money from
Section 8 is going to be shared by community
organizations and developers."
The city is known to be investigating allegations of
conflict of interest and payoffs in the Section 8 program
in the Bronx and other boroughs.
Light said he has had meetings with many
community housing groups to develop plans for specific
building sites and has/been deluged with inquiries from
developers all over the East.
Responding to skepticism about the city's ability to
deliver all the housing, especially in view of its failure
to spend a large portion of its Community Development
Block Grant money, Light said:
"We have had no trouble with Section 8. We have
7,000 units of new construction or rehabilitation either
completed or in progress and we will have 5,000
additional by the end of the summer."
The delay with Section 8, he said, is the one-year
processing time required by the Federal Housing
Administration. He said the city will push to have
construction underway by 12 months after projects are
approved.
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IN THIS ISSUE
55 St, Nicholas Ave.
Section 8 Allocations
Carter Urban Policy
New York Celebrates the Sun
Technical Assistance
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