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28.07.2010 13:00
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Citi Community Capital Launches $100 Million New York Affordable Housing Preservation Fund with L+M Development Partners

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Citi Community Capital ("CCC”) and L+M Development Partners today announced the creation of a $100 million New York Affordable Housing Preservation Fund (NYAH Preservation Fund). The NYAH Preservation Fund’s mission is to stem the loss of affordable housing in the New York metropolitan area and to expand the stock of such housing through strategic rehabilitation and investment.

The NYAH Preservation Fund will focus on properties that may be at immediate or longer term risk of becoming unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households. In order to maximize its impact, the NYAH Preservation Fund will invest with a wide range of responsible owners and operators. The NYAH Preservation Fund is envisioned as an innovative and dynamic response to one of the City’s most important challenges – namely how to enhance the region’s role as a center for economic diversity and opportunity through the expansion and preservation of affordable housing. The NYAH Preservation Fund could become a model for similar efforts in the region and nationally.

As part of Mayor Bloomberg’s unparalleled New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP) initiative over the past eight years, the City has been working to finance the creation or preservation of over 165,000 affordable homes by 2014. By June 30, 2010, the City had closed on the preservation or creation of more than 108,600 units. The NYAH Preservation Fund is structured to become an important source of private capital towards this ongoing effort.

"The launch of this $100 million fund further illustrates Citi’s commitment to the principles of responsible finance. We have pledged that we will do our part to fuel the economic recovery and lend a hand to those in need,” said Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citi. "There is a lack of affordable rental housing available to low- to moderate-income households in New York City and we take great pride that this fund will benefit our New York neighbors.”

"The creation or preservation of affordable housing is the work of many dedicated partners from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors,” said NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero. "Our New Housing Marketplace Plan is of a scale that is unequalled anywhere else and is achieving remarkable results. Nowhere is this work more important right now than at the neighborhood level, in occupied buildings that are deteriorating and at risk of becoming unaffordable. This partnership between Citi and L+M supports and complements our NHMP goals. It's a model for how terrific private-sector partners can put their capital to work right here in our neighborhoods for the direct benefit of our residents and toward the goal of stabilizing our City's neighborhoods."

"We are honored to be partnering with Citi on this innovative fund to preserve affordable housing for families throughout New York City and in neighborhoods most in need,” said Ron Moelis, CEO and Chairman of L+M Development Partners. "We look forward to working with, and investing in, experienced multifamily owners and managers to responsibly execute the Fund’s investment strategy.”

Over the next three years, the NYAH Preservation Fund’s goal is to help finance the preservation and rehabilitation of over 2,000 affordable apartments in New York City and the surrounding communities. The NYAH Preservation Fund will make strategic equity investments with local operating partners (both private and not-for-profit). The Fund will also look to provide affordable housing expertise, regulatory guidance, and access to debt financing to ensure that responsible owners/managers can successfully compete in the metropolitan marketplace. An affiliate of L+M Development Partners will be the Fund’s managing member and will be exclusively responsible for executing the Fund’s investment strategy. As part of this effort, Citi will look to make debt financing available on projects in which the Fund is investing.

There are numerous studies that attest to the severe housing crisis in New York City. The NYC Center for Economic Opportunity, a poverty research center established by Mayor Bloomberg in 2006, found that access to affordable housing is a critical determinant of whether working families vulnerable to poverty can make it over the poverty line. Additionally, New York City HPD Commissioner Rafael Cestero recently noted that "U.S. Census Bureau data show that in 2008, more than 1 in 4 rental households are severely rent burdened, paying more than half of their income toward rent.”

Despite a large increase in the housing stock over the past decade, affordability remains a challenge. Between 2005 and 2008, the citywide housing stock grew by 2.1%; however, the number of units affordable to the median household continued to decline during this period, as the number of higher cost units continued to increase. Demand still outstrips supply at the lowest end of the housing market. In 2008, the vacancy rate of units renting for less than $1,000 a month was 1.6%, compared to 6.5% in units renting for $2,500 or more a month. These numbers underscore the importance of preserving New York City’s available housing stock for low-income residents.

The NYAH Preservation Fund represents a compelling partnership between Citi and L+M Development Partners to curtail the loss of affordable housing in New York City and invest private capital to maintain access to high-quality and safe housing in New York.

About Citi Community Capital

Citi Community Capital (CCC) is a premier financial partner with nationally recognized expertise in financing all types of affordable housing and community reinvestment projects. CCC's origination, structuring, asset and risk management staff across the country provides creative financing solutions designed to meet their clients' needs. CCC helps community development financial institutions, real estate developers, national intermediaries and nonprofit organizations achieve their goals through a broad, integrated platform of debt and equity offerings.

Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.

About L+M Development Partners

Since 1984, L+M Development Partners has been an innovator in developing quality affordable, mixed-income and market rate housing, while improving the neighborhoods in which it works. A full-service firm, L+M works from conception to completion, handling development, construction and management with creativity that leads the industry. L+M is responsible for more than $2 billion in development and construction and has created more than 10,000 high-quality units in the tri-state area alone. Community leaders, government officials and investment organizations turn to L+M because of its consistent track record of excellence.

L+M is a double bottom line company, where its success is measured not only in financial returns but also by the positive impact it makes. L+M takes pride in its long-standing dedication to the communities it serves, demonstrated through an annual scholarship fund, job training programs and substantial support for local nonprofits. L+M brings a superior level of commitment to its investments in developments, and equally important, to its investment in people. Additional information can be found at www.lmdevpartners.com.

About Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan:

New York City’s affordable housing program to build or preserve 165,000 units of housing — enough to house half a million New Yorkers—is the most ambitious and productive in the nation—creating housing as well as jobs for New Yorkers. In April, 2010 the City reached the critical benchmark of 100,000 units financed—representing an investment of $4.5 billion to date by the City, not including roughly $5 billion in bonds issued by HDC. As of the end of June, the close of the City’s fiscal year 2010, HPD and HDC had financed more than 108,600 affordable units.

Led by HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero, the Plan has been recast to maintain momentum while confronting head on the economic challenges facing the City, the State, the housing industry, the financial sector and individual New Yorkers and their families. In order to fulfill the NHMP goal of 165,000 units, HPD and HDC are responding to market realities and focusing on three primary goals: strengthening neighborhoods, expanding the supply of affordable and sustainable housing and stabilizing families by keeping them in their homes. To read more about the NHMP, please visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/about/plan.shtml

About the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):

HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers through education, outreach, loan and development programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. It is responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the construction or preservation or 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 108,600 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd

About NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC):

The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is a 501 (c)3 not-for-profit created in 1971 to provide a variety of tax-exempt bond financing programs for the creation and preservation of multi-family affordable housing throughout the five boroughs of New York City. HDC’s programs are designed to meet the wide-range of affordable housing needs of the City's economically diverse population. In partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, HDC is working to carry out Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace plan. Since the plan launched in 2004, HDC has financed more than 45,000 homes for low-, moderate-, and middle-income New Yorkers. HDC is rated AA by S&P and Aa2 by Moody’s.

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