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Directory of New York City Affordable Housing Programs

Program (?) Urban Homestead Program
Related Programs Sweat Equity (HPD)
Benefit Classification (?)  
Supply or Demand Demand
One-Time or Ongoing One-Time
Benefit Type (?) Grant
Government Agency (?) NYC Dept of Housing Preservation and Development,
Program Information (?)  
Scale Small Scale (between 1 and 999 units produced)
Timeframe 1980-1989
Developer/Owners (?) Government, Tenant
Property Information (?)  
Property Type Building, City-Owned
Building Type Multi-family
Construction Type Rehabilitation
Occupant Tenure (?) Homeownership
Occupant Income Restrictions (?) No Restrictions

As a response to “squatting,” where residents that illegally inhabited vacant buildings helped to revive neighborhoods, the Urban Homestead Program granted up to $10,000 per unit to tenants willing to inhabit and simultaneously renovate vacant city-owned buildings. Participants qualified for the program through an RFP process. After renovation, HPD sold the buildings to the residents for $250 per apartment, and required that the building operate as an HDFC under Article XI laws, including limited equity on resale profits. The classification as an HDFC ensured building affordability for 40 years. HPD developed the Urban Homesteading Program following the decline of Sweat Equity, which was a similar program.

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