2007-09-07 / Community

State Agencies Fund Affordable Housing In Arverne

By Miriam Rosenberg

More than $10 million in grants and mortgage insurance have been allocated for 145 affordable housing units in Queens - 29 units of which are located in the Arverne area.

In a press release, the boards of the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC) announced that the New York City Housing Partnership would receive $725,000 in grants for construction of the units from AHC, with additional assistance provided by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

"The units will be located all long Beach Channel Drive between Beach 40 and Beach 37 Streets," said Philip Lentz, the director of communications for AHC.

According to Sheila Latimer, the director of the Housing Partnership, the almost $11 million project will consist of 17 one-family and six twofamily homes and will be available to people who are 166 percent or below of the HUD low income level.

"Homes should be completed in roughly 18 months," said Latimer. "The application process will be early in the 18 months. If people are interested they should get on our website as soon as possible."

To put your name in for consideration, go to http://www.housingpartner ship.com/and click on 'homebuyer', then click on 'future developments' and then click on 'contact us' and fill out the information requested.

"Once the marketing process begins, they will hear back through us or the not-for-profit involved," continued Latimer.

Lentz said "the $25,000 per unit is for construction and permanent financing to keep units affordable."

Latimer explained that part of the role of the Housing Partnership is to get subsidies, such as AHC - which is one of the subsidies on the Arverne project - to make sure the homes are truly available [as affordable housing]."

State Senator Malcolm Smith lauded the affordable housing announcement.

"I am pleased that AHC and SONYMA were able to provide funding for the construction of more affordable housing in Southeast Queens," said State Senator Malcolm Smith in a press release. "Every unit built with this money means that another family would have a place of their own to call home."

In addition to the 29 units in Arverne, the $10 million allocation includes two projects in Jamaica.

"The influx of funding from AHC and SONYMA will make it easier for more families in Queens to obtain affordable housing," continued Smith. "There is no question that the housing crunch in New York City has made it harder for working 9-to-5 families to find a clean and safe place to live without breaking the bank. The construction going on in Jamaica and Far Rockaway is a sign to these families that help is on the way."

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