A public-private partnership that includes a handful of the largest banks in the country has committed a total of $350 million in loans to build and rehabilitate affordable housing in New York City, Bloomberg.com reports.
To be administered by the Community Preservation Corporation, a nonprofit affordable housing lender, the funds will be used to renovate approximately seventy-five hundred apartments as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's ten-year plan to build or preserve two hundred thousand units of affordable housing for lower- and middle-income New Yorkers. Lenders contributing to the fund include New York City-based Citigroup, which will provide $75 million in loans at a 2.75 percent interest rate; San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, which committed $50 million to the effort; five New York City pension funds that have agreed to provide $40 million; and the city's Housing Development Corp., which committed $40 million. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of America also have agreed to contribute to the fund.
In a press conference to announce the partnership, de Blasio said the buildings will receive upgrades, including "energy retrofits" to make apartments more cost-efficient for residents. Under federal law, banks are required to invest a certain amount in community redevelopment projects like affordable housing in areas where they accept deposits.
"This is essential to our vision," said de Blasio, whose relationship with Wall Street and the financial industry has improved since pledging during his campaign to boost taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers to help pay for all-day preschool. "The private investment, of course, is deeply necessary for what we are doing here today and everything that we intend to do with our plan."