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The below excerpt is from "N.Y. Churches to Get Help in Navigating Real-Estate Development”
By Melanie Grayce West, The Wall Street Journal
A new program, to be announced this week, aims to broker good marriages between developers and charity organizations, with the aim of fulfilling the city’s need for affordable housing.
Called the New York Land Opportunity Program, the initiative is a joint effort of New York’s nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit.
The program will provide free technical expertise—lawyers, architects and others—to help nonprofits properly assess the possibilities for their land, while also maintaining a foothold in their neighborhoods to do charity work and maintaining the ownership of the property.
The first five groups selected for the program are all churches, including Dr. Gillams’ church [Shiloh Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ]. The others are: Wakefield Grace United Methodist Church and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, both in the Bronx; St. John’s Global Ministries in Queens, and Manhattan’s Community Church of New York and Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Manhattan.
Sam Marks, executive director of the New York City office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, says that while affordable housing was the exclusive work of nonprofits a generation ago, the sector now has become much more sophisticated and complex, with both nonprofit and for-profit groups competing. In many cases, land is the primary asset that a church owns, said Mr. Marks, and churches “are interested in activating that property, but want to retain ownership and drive the process.”
Congratulations to the NYLOP grantees!
NYLOP is a partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit.
This program is made possible through the generous support of Booth Ferris Foundation, along with BankUnited, Deutsche Bank, M&T Bank, and Santander Bank.
Special thanks to our program partners: Goldstein Hall and Edelman Sultan Knox Wood / Architects.