Columbia Announces Purchase of Site to be Developed As New Housing for Manhattanville Residents in City's TIL Program

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

TIL tenants to become homeowners sooner in new buildings

Columbia University today announced that it has obtained a site within the community that it will develop to provide affordable replacement units for the tenants currently living in the two buildings within the campus expansion area that are part of the city's Tenant Interim Lease Program (TIL). Residents of the TIL apartments, which are currently owned by the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), would be able to purchase these new cooperative units at the same price they would have under the current TIL program.

The plan represents a significant step forward for the affected residents in the TIL program because it not only shortens by a number of years the time they would have waited to become permanent homeowners, but it also ensures they will move into a brand new building. This plan will also reduce the number of moves such residents would normally make under the program.

"We have said all along that Columbia is committed to ensuring that the small number of current Manhattanville residents will have equal or better affordable housing in the area because of our long-term expansion," said University President Lee C. Bollinger. "This agreement with the city not only fulfills that pledge; it also ensures that these residents become homeowners in our community-in modern apartment buildings-even earlier than they would have otherwise."

"The Bloomberg Administration has made affordable housing one of its highest priorities for New York's future," said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan. "With this site, Columbia will make new, affordable homes available to these Manhattanville residents even sooner than we would have otherwise and, by adding new units, takes an important step towards ensuring that the University's long-term growth is a win-win for all parties concerned."

The site, which Columbia recently acquired, will allow for the development of a new 42-unit elevator building. The project will include 27 replacement units for the TIL tenants, 11 replacement units for the vacant units in the TIL properties, as well as a 10 percent addition of total affordable units. Vacant units in the new building will be made available as new, affordable, cooperative housing to eligible families.

A not-for-profit developer will be identified to build the new apartment building, which will be built in accordance with HPD guidelines. Columbia will cooperate with HPD and the tenant associations to ensure that tenants obtain all the homeownership rights and benefits of the TIL program.

Discussions with TIL tenants are ongoing: HPD has consulted with the boards of the tenant associations about the replacement plan and will meet with the affected tenants in the next few weeks to present the plan in detail.