City’s signs latest PACT with Camber JV in the Bronx

by

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) formally
announced the selection of Camber Property Group, Henge Development, and SAA |
EVI Development as the development team to deliver building and apartment
upgrades for nearly 4,800 residents and more than 2,000 apartments at Edenwald
Houses in the Bronx.

The selected partners will further engage with residents and
continue to refine their plans for renovations over the next 12 to 18 months,
with construction expected to begin in 2023. The Authority’s community planning
process for the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program
incorporated a resident review committee, which interviewed prospective
development teams about the proposed building upgrades, management practices,
sustainability and design features, and plans to enhance social services.

The selection of the PACT partners is an important step in the Authority’s commitment to meaningfully improve living conditions for NYCHA residents. Today’s announcement comes just a week after it was announced that Related Companies would take the reins at the Chelsea Fulton Houses in Manhattan under a similar deal.

This isn’t the first PACT agreement Camber has signed with the city. In 2018, the company partnered with L+M Development and  the nonprofit MBD Community Housing to rehab the 722-unit  Baychester-Murphy portfolio in the Bronx. In addition to the rehabilitation and new management of the developments, NYCHA will collects a portion of the developer fee, an asset management fee, and 50 percent of cash flow after payment of debt service. Existing Project-Based Section 8 contracts at the property were extended for a new 25-year term.

“The selection of this development team, and the process
used for that selection, highlight the important changes NYCHA continues to
make to improve the PACT program in partnership with its residents,” said
Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “The robust
resident engagement and inclusion of both minority-led and minority women-led
firms are further evidence of the benefits PACT can bring to NYCHA’s residents
and the City at large.”

“NYCHA residents and stakeholders have seen firsthand how
PACT improvements are helping to rehabilitate NYCHA developments, maintain
tenant protections, and preserve affordable housing,” said NYCHA Chair &
CEO Greg Russ. “Engaging residents around the changes and improvements they’d
like to see in their communities is an essential part of this process – and we
look forward to centering their voices in the latest iteration of this vital
program.”

“I’m looking forward to Edenwald’s partnership with Camber Property Group, Henge Development, and SAA | EVI Development,” said Edenwald Houses Tenant Association President Walter McNeill. “In addition to the major repairs that will be coming to our development through this partnership, we’re looking forward to the reopening of our senior center which has been closed for several years. We’re also looking forward to the reopening of our laundry rooms, continuing with the resident watch program and increasing the capacity of our compactor yard.”

“Today’s announcement is an important step towards bringing comprehensive repairs and improvements, as well as much-needed social services, to nearly 4,800 NYCHA households. Partnering with the residents of NYCHA, as well as local nonprofits and MWBEs, is critical to the ongoing success of the PACT program and ensuring equitable outcomes,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “HDC looks forward to our continued work together to improve the quality of life for our valued public housing residents.”

RICK GROPPER

“Our City’s public housing stock is one of the most vital resources in the mission to house low-income New Yorkers,” said Rick Gropper, Principal of Camber Property Group. “Our successful work at the neighboring Baychester Houses has given us considerable insight into the priorities of NYCHA residents, and we are ready to build on that positive experience. We are thrilled to collaborate with the residents of Edenwald and NYCHA in a community-minded process to renovate the complex and restore its status as a best-in-class home.”

“New York City’s public housing residents deserve quality,
affordable homes they can be proud of. This partnership will allow for
much-needed renovations at the Edenwald Houses—repairs and improvements that
will make a significant positive impact on the everyday lives of residents—and
we are proud to be a part of this effort. We look forward to working with NYCHA
and our development partners, local stakeholders and the residents of the
Edenwald Houses to rebuild their homes and help preserve affordability, as well
as create economic platforms and opportunities that lead to more inclusion for
some of our most valuable and creative New Yorkers,” said Ernst Valery,
Managing Partner and President at SAA | EVI Development.

Established in 1953, Edenwald Houses is one of the oldest
and largest public housing developments in the Authority’s portfolio,
encompassing 40 residential buildings and more than 48 acres. The proposed
rehabilitation scope will address the 20-year capital needs of the property
while prioritizing resident preferences and investments towards healthy and
efficient buildings within a resilient campus. The extensive modernization of
the property will include improvements to the building envelopes, mechanical
systems, and apartments while addressing resident priorities, such as a fully
renovated senior center, laundry facilities, improved waste management, and
exterior site improvements. The PACT team will also analyze the feasibility of
increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in response
to the NYCHA Sustainability Agenda and City mandates.

Over the last year, NYCHA briefed hundreds of Edenwald
residents on the PACT program, the RFEI selection process, and how the
Authority identifies partners best positioned to address areas of need. From
there, a resident review committee was convened to work with the Authority to
vet submitted proposals, assess their feasibility, and interview the
development teams directly. The review committee’s perspective was invaluable
in understanding resident needs and preferences across key issues such as
priorities for repairs and investments, safety measures, and how to best
activate public spaces, among other topics.

Responsible for more than two dozen rehabilitation projects
in the New York Tri-State Area, Camber Property Group focuses on the
development of affordable and mixed-income housing. The firm most recently
oversaw the comprehensive rehabilitation of nearby Baychester Houses, which was
completed in February of 2021. SAA | EVI Development and Henge Development are minority-led
and minority, woman-owned firms, respectively, with several decades of
experience managing multi-family housing redevelopment projects. Camber
Property Group, Henge Development, and SAA | EVI will lead the project as
co-developers; L+M Builders Group will be the general contractor; and C+C
Apartment Management will be the property manager. In the coming months, NYCHA
and the selected development team will work with resident leaders to select a
non-profit partner, which will deliver enhanced social services and community
programs.

The selected PACT team will use the Rental Assistance
Demonstration program to transition operating subsidy to the Project-Based
Section 8 program and finance the 20-year capital needs at the development.
They will also be responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of
the development. NYCHA will continue to own the land and buildings, administer
the Section 8 subsidy, set rents, manage the waitlist for vacant apartments,
and monitor conditions at the development. With the development team now in
place, NYCHA and its partners will continue to work closely with residents and
tenant association leaders to plan and prepare for these historic community
investments.

The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), New
York City’s municipal Housing Finance Agency, is the financing partner for
PACT. HDC will coordinate or provide loan financing funding by bonds issued
through HDC’s Multi-Family Housing Bond Resolution (the “Open Resolution”) or
the newly created Housing Impact Bond Resolution (the “Impact Resolution’), a
bond resolution created solely to facilitate NYCHA transactions.

The PACT program has generated more than $1.7 billion in
comprehensive apartment renovations and building infrastructure improvements to
date for more than 9,500 households, with $1.2 billion in major upgrades
underway and approximately $579 million in renovations that have already been
completed. An additional 25,600 households are part of active development
projects in the process of resident engagement or pre-development. In sum,
NYCHA has more than 35,000 units completed, in construction, or in a stage of
resident engagement or pre-development.

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