With the help of St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corps and the city’s housing department, dozens of families can now call Greenpoint and Williamsburg home, permanently.
The new North Brooklyn homeowners celebrated their new purchases with St. Nicholas Neighborhood NPC, local elected officials, and the mortgage lenders, contractors, and architects who brought the $8.6 million, 20-home project to fruition at the Greenpoint Renaissance Center (2 Kingsland Ave.) Monday night. Twenty homes with 46 units, at a construction cost of about $400,000 per home, have been filled by new moderate income families intent on staying in the community for several years.
“Blessed be the homeowners. You have made the right choice,” said Borough President Marty Markowitz, addressing the new residents. “For me, when you own, you’re committed. You fight to keep the neighborhood elegant and safe, the schools dynamic, and the community vibrant and strong.”
Councilmember Diana Reyna congratulated the homeowners on achieving the American dream in an economic climate where foreclosures have ravaged homeownership throughout the borough. “This is an investment. A human investment,” she said. “To be homeowners means we have stability in our community. There are very few foreclosures in Williamsburg, and that’s because of you. We hope you pass this investment onto your children when you pay for college and see the rewards of your hard work.”
Through a collaboration between St. Nicholas NPC (11 Catherine St.), the Local Initiative Support Coalition, a Manhattan-based housing nonprofit which provided construction financing, and the city, which provided a subsidy for the purchase price of the new homes, the houses were put up for purchase in a lottery for local community residents families. After securing a bank loan from a St. Nicholas NPC partner, along with the city’s subsidy, the families were able to afford the price of their new home.
St. Nicholas’ Housing Director Frank Lang has been especially proud at the transformation of these lots into homes and the efforts that St. Nicholas staff members put in to facilitate the process of homeownership for Brooklyn residents.
“For moderate, middle income homeowners, allowing teachers to be able to by a house and stay in the neighborhood they grew up in or moved to is a great thing,” Lang said.
Alaric Deliberto, a new homeowner on Manhattan Avenue, has been surprised with how pleasant the process of acquiring financing for his new home has been. With a new addition to his family, a baby girl, Deliberto has been very happy about having the space to raise his children.
“As I went through the process, I thought more and more about it and realized this is really doable,” Dilberto said. “I can own a home.”
Stacey and Bryce Cahn, new Greenpoint homeowners, also expressed their gratitude to St. Nicks and others who helped expedite the process. The Cahns, who have been renting in the community for several years, were planning on moving to Seattle for more affordable housing before they applied to the housing lottery. Their reward has been a new home at an affordable price on India Street.
“Bryce is a teacher and we wouldn’t have been able to afford to live here,” said Stacey. “Owning a home finally is totally a dream come true.”
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©2009 Community News Group
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