Governor George E. Pataki and federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez today announced the approval of nearly $306 million in grants to retain and attract residents in Lower Manhattan.
Residents who lived in certain areas of Lower Manhattan on September 11th and remain there will be eligible for a one-time $1,000 grant. The program also provides grants of as much as $12,000 for new and existing residents who make a two-year commitment to Lower Manhattan. To encourage families to make a home in Lower Manhattan, households with at least one child are also eligible for a family bonus of as much as $1,500.
The program was created and will be administered by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. It is being funded as part of a $2 billion grant from HUD's Community Development Block Grant Program. LMDC expects to begin accepting applications by late summer.
"From Battery Park City to Chinatown, our residential communities are the foundation upon which the future of Lower Manhattan will be built," Governor Pataki said. "As we continue to stand with our neighbors in Lower Manhattan through the rebuilding effort, we must ensure that their community remains an attractive place to live and raise a family.
"This initiative recognizes the hardships that many have endured since September 11th, and encourages residents to remain committed," Governor Pataki said. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, I want to thank the President and Congress for providing this vital assistance to Lower Manhattan."
HUD Secretary Martinez said, "Today's announcement is another example of the Bush Administration's commitment to the citizens of New York City. If the terrorists thought that by destroying the Twin Towers they were destroying America's spirit and resolve, there were wrong. September 11th had the reverse effect - it has made us stronger and more unified."
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "This program will further our efforts to remake Lower Manhattan into a vibrant, 24-hour commercial and residential community by providing residents with an incentive to remain here while offering another reason for individuals to become a part of the future of Lower Manhattan. New York City would like to thank the Governor and the Board of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for their continued dedication to ensuring the economic stability and revitalization of Lower Manhattan."
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, "We are grateful for this support for the recovery of residential communities that were seared by the acts of terrorists - communities that still possess the resiliency and determination that have always distinguished New Yorkers as a people of indomitable spirit. The vibrant residential areas of Lower Manhattan- which we worked so hard to build - must and will continue to be a great place for New Yorkers to make their homes, raise their families, and build their futures."
Chairman John C. Whitehead said, "In order to revitalize Lower Manhattan, it's essential that we help stabilize our residential communities, while also encouraging people to move into the area. The Plan recognizes that despite the tremendous progress being made to revitalize Lower Manhattan, some individuals may still be reluctant to make a long-term commitment because of some perceived disadvantages to living in Lower Manhattan. This Plan is a sensible investment in the future of Lower Manhattan and will help spread the word that Lower Manhattan is still a great place to live and work."
Empire State Development Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "Helping the residents of Lower Manhattan is a vital component of our successful efforts to renew and revitalize Lower Manhattan. I'd like to thank President Bush and Secretary Martinez for their continued support of New York. With their help, we will renew and revitalize Lower Manhattan so that we come back even stronger than we were before September 10th."
Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel Doctoroff said, "In order to create a real, viable community in Lower Manhattan, we need places to shop and eat, open spaces for recreation, cultural institutions and residents to make it all come together. This new program is an essential component of our efforts to rebuild and strengthen the community, and I thank everyone involved for working together to make this happen."
LMDC President Louis Tomson said, "Under the leadership of Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg, the state and the city have reaffirmed their strong commitment to the residential communities of Lower Manhattan. This plan will be an integral part of the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, ensuring that Lower Manhattan remains an attractive place to live and work."
The full plan is available on LMDC's website at www.renewnyc.org. The plan divides Lower Manhattan into three zones of eligibility, depending on proximity to ground zero:
Zone 1 - defined as the area south of Chambers Street and west of Nassau and Broad Streets, including all buildings which face on those streets and the entirety of Battery Park City;
Zone 2 - defined as the area outside Zone 1 but south of Canal Street and southwest of Rutgers Street, including all buildings which face on those streets; and
Zone 3 - defined as the area north of Canal Street and Rutgers Street, south of Delancey or Kenmare Streets, and east of Lafayette Street in Manhattan, including all buildings which face on those streets with the exception of Canal Street and Rutgers Street.
Individuals (both owners and renters) living in these zones may be eligible for these grants:
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 RESIDENTS GRANTS - A $1,000 one-time grant per household for on-going residents of Zone1, Zone 2, or Zone 3 who lived in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001.
B) FAMILY GRANTS - A one-time family grant for households with children under age 18 that make at least a one-year commitment to living in lower Manhattan.
1) Zone 1 is eligible for a $1,500 grant
2) Zone 2 is eligible for a $750 grant
3) Zone 3 is eligible for a $750 grant
C) TWO-YEAR COMMITMENT BASED GRANTS - Grants for households that make at least a two-year commitment to living in lower Manhattan: (Note - Certain rent restrictions apply. Please see Partial Action Plan for more details.)
Zone 1 is eligible for 30% of the monthly rent (or mortgage payments, plus maintenance costs and real estate and related taxes for owner occupied units), up to $12,000 over two years
Zone 2 is eligible for 30% of the monthly rent (or mortgage payments, plus maintenance costs and real estate and related taxes for owner-occupied units), up to $6,000 over two years
In order to be eligible for grants, renters must have leases commencing on or after June 1, 2001 and on or prior to May 31, 2003. Owners must purchase apartments on or prior to May 31, 2003. Although the program has not commenced, since the proposal was announced in February, there has been a tremendous resurgence of interest in moving to Lower Manhattan, which is reflected in the decrease in residential vacancy rates. For example, the occupancy rate of Battery Park City was 60 percent after the attack, rose to 74 percent shortly after the announcement of the draft plan, and is now at 88 percent.
The LMDC will be publishing information throughout the summer on the application process and will start accepting applications in late summer. LMDC will create a hotline, open offices in the community, and conduct a comprehensive outreach campaign in multiple languages starting later this summer. Individuals interested in obtaining new information about the program as it becomes available should regularly check LMDC's website, www.renewnyc.org.