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Directory of NYC Housing Programs

Sweat Equity (City)

The Sweat Equity program began as a response to the City’s budget crisis in the 1970s, its ownership of a massive stock of in-rem housing, a growing demand for low-income housing, and resident-led initiatives to rehabilitate abandoned buildings. In exchange for labor performed by prospective tenants, the City offered one percent interest rates on 30-year mortgages for the gut rehabilitation of abandoned city-owned buildings. Despite positive support from President Jimmy Carter, along with financing from four major New York banks, by 1980 the program was defunct. In 2014, HPD partnered with Habitat for Humanity of New York City to incorporate “sweat equity” into new construction and preservation of affordable housing.

Program Information Help Icon

  • Supply/Demand: Supply
  • Category: Land and Financing
  • Scale: Small Scale (between 1 and 999 units)
  • Timeframe: Started 1976
  • Occupancy tenure: Rental
  • Construction Type: Rehabilitation
  • Building Type: Multi-family
  • Developers/Owners: Owner-occupant, Government
  • Income Restrictions: Low-Income

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