-September 11th Residents of Chinatown and Little Italy Eligible for One-Time Grant
- Family Bonus Created to Help Stabilize and Strengthen Lower Manhattan’s Residential Communities
- Eastern Border of Zone 1 Extended from Broadway to Nassau Street
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation today approved a revised version of the Individual Assistance Plan, which provides financial incentives to retain and attract residents to Lower Manhattan and provides funding for job training to businesses south of 14th Street. The Plan is now subject to an additional comment period ending on April 23.
The following is a summary of changes from the version of the Plan approved at a previous Board meeting.
Third Zone of Eligibility: There is ample evidence to suggest that the predominantly middle and lower income residents of Chinatown, Little Italy and parts of the Lower East Side, experienced significant inconvenience, disruption and economic hardship as a result of September 11th. The revised Plan now includes a third zone of eligibility, Zone 3, that includes Lower Manhattan north of Canal Street to Delancey or Kenmare Streets with a western boundary of Lafayette Street. Residents of Zone 3 who lived in the area on September 11 would be eligible for a one-time $1,000 grant. To be eligible, a resident does not have to reside in the same unit as on September 11th, so long as both the September 11th residence and the current residence are within any of the eligible zones. The grant is not contingent upon signing a new lease.
Family Bonus: In recognition of the importance of families in stabilizing and strengthening Lower Manhattan’s residential communities, the revised Plan establishes a one-time bonus to households with children. In Zone 1, the Immediate Impact Zone, households with children would be eligible for a one-time grant of $1,500 per household. In Zone 2, households with children would be eligible for a one-time grant of $750 per household.
Expansion of the Immediate Impact Zone: Many of the comments received by LMDC during the comment period expressed the belief that the eastern boundary of Zone 1 should be extended eastward. Accordingly, the revised Plan establishes the eastern boundary as Nassau Street continuing south to the East River via Broad Street. The northern boundary of Chambers Street remains the same.
September 11th Grant: The Plan would now award a $1,000 grant to September 11th residents so long as they remain within eligible zones, even if they do not live in the same residence as on September 11th. The grant is not contingent upon the signing of a new lease.
Delayed Onset: The Plan reduces the delay of the onset of the benefit to a maximum of one year for all September 11th residents of the three zones.
Institutional Apartment Eligibility: The Plan includes corporations, universities, extended stay operators and assisted living facilities that lease and sub-lease units. The benefit is calculated per unit and given directly to the institution. Eligibility is for the main subsidy and not for the pre-9/11 $1,000 grant.
Rent Conditions: To discourage reliance on the grant program as justification to increase rents, the Plan conditions eligibility on rental rates no greater than 90 percent of the pre-9/11 rent in Zone 1 and 95 percent of the pre-9/11 rent in Zone 2.
Compensating Owners Who No Longer Make Mortgage Payments: Since property owners who have completed mortgage payments may be eligible for less than other residents under the formula in the first version of the Plan, the revised Plan raises the grant for owners in this category to 50 percent of maintenance costs and taxes from the current 30 percent figure – up to the cap of $6,000 or $12,000.
Units Returning to Market: Units subject to vacancy deregulation and vacated rent stabilized units are not held to the pre-9/11 rent clause under the revised Plan.
New Construction: The pre-9/11 conditions on rent levels are not applicable to residential units currently under construction.
Minimum Tenant Payment: In cases where rents are extremely below market, the Plan has been revised to ensure a tenant cannot receive a grant in excess of their monthly rent payment.
Governor Pataki said, “I’m pleased the LMDC has further strengthened the Individual Assistance Plan, especially as it pertains to residents of Chinatown and Little Italy. The residents of these areas have suffered tremendously in the wake of September 11th and need our support. The Plan recognizes the hardship they have endured, and demonstrates our commitment to help the communities of Lower Manhattan recover from this tragedy.”
Mayor Bloomberg said, "Including residents of Chinatown and Little Italy in the Individual Assistance Plan will go a long way toward furthering our efforts to remake Lower Manhattan and the surrounding areas into thriving, 24-hour commercial and residential communities. These neighborhoods are within walking distance of all that Lower Manhattan has to offer and have long been favored destinations for tourists. Providing residents with another incentive to live in the area creates one more reason that these neighborhoods are also great places to live. I would like to thank the Governor and the Board of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for their dedication to ensuring the economic stability and revitalization of the entire area."
Chairman John C. Whitehead said, “In order to revitalize Lower Manhattan, it is essential that we help stabilize our residential communities, while also encouraging more people to move into the area. The Plan recognizes that residents in the surrounding areas of the World Trade Center have remained committed to their communities during this difficult rebuilding time. It also takes into consideration the reluctance some may feel about moving into the area, despite the tremendous progress being made to revitalize Lower Manhattan. The enhancements to the Plan will enable us to provide assistance to an even greater number of people.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “The changes to the LMDC’s Assistance Plan for Individuals responds to several of my concerns with the Board’s original proposal by extending the immediate impact zone to address the hardships experienced by many residents living in the shadow of Ground Zero and by creating a third impact zone to encompass a much broader area of residents who were also substantially impacted by the events of September 11. I applaud the LMDC for listening to the residents of Lower Manhattan and using the public comment period to strengthen its Plan. Today’s announcement is a positive step toward achieving our goal of a renewed and thriving Lower Manhattan.”
LMDC President Lou 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. I want to express our gratitude to the many individuals and organizations who sent us comments and helped shape the Plan to best serve the needs of Lower Manhattan."
The following is a summary of the eligibility requirements of the Plan:
Summary of the Individual Assistance Plan - Housing Component
The Individual Assistance Plan establishes three zones of eligibility based on proximity to the World Trade Center site. In addition to the benefits described below, September 11th residents of all Zones 1, 2 and 3 will be eligible for a one-time grant of $1,000, provided they continue to live in any of the three zones.
Zone 1 (Immediate Impact Zone):
Borders: South of Chambers Street, West of Nassau or Broad Street (including all buildings which face on those streets) and all of Battery Park City
Rental units and owner occupied housing within the Immediate Impact Zone would be eligible for a grant of 30% of the monthly rent (or mortgage payments, plus maintenance costs and taxes for purchases units), up to $12,000 over two years. To provide maximum benefit to lower income individuals, the Plan provides a minimum grant of $4,000 per assisted unit over two years. No resident will receive grants in excess of their own rental payments. Households that include one or more children under age 18 at the date of their application will be eligible for an additional family grant of $1,500.
Borders: Outside of Zone 1, but South of Canal Street and Rutgers Street (including all buildings which face on those streets)
Rental units and owner-occupied housing will be eligible for a grant of 30% of the monthly rent (or mortgage payments plus maintenance costs and taxes for owner occupied units), up to $6,000 over two years. To provide maximum benefit to lower income individuals in the area, the Plan provides a minimum grant of $2,000 per assisted unit over two years. No resident will receive grants in excess of their own monthly payment. Households that include one or more children under age 18 at the date of their application will be eligible for an additional family grant of $750.
Zone 3 (New Zone)
Borders: North of Canal Street, south of Delancey or Kenmare Streets, East of Lafayette Street (including all buildings which face on those streets with the exception of Canal Street)
Residents of rental units and owner-occupied housing who resided in Zone 1, Zone 2 or Zone 3 on September 11 and who currently reside in Zone 3 will be eligible for a one-time grant of $1,000. One grant will be made per housing unit.
Zone 1 and Zone 2 Conditions for Financial Incentives Other than One-Time Grant
For rental units, grants may be made available to (other conditions apply):
- New tenants who enter into a two-year lease effective after the commencement date of the program with a term beginning on or prior to 6/01/03; existing tenants who enter into a two-year lease effective prior to the commencement date of this program with a term expiring after 5/31/03; and existing tenants whose lease term ends prior to 6/01/03, upon renewal for a two year term. To be eligible, rents must be no greater than 90 percent of the pre 9/11/01 rate for the same unit in Zone 1, or 95 percent of the pre 9/11/01 rate in Zone 2.
- The tenant must occupy the apartment and must demonstrate that rental payments are up to date or otherwise lawfully placed in escrow.
For owner-occupied units, grants may be made available to (other conditions apply):
- Existing owners who agree to remain for at least two years after commencement date of the program; and new owners who purchase after the commencement date of the program and prior to 5/31/03 and who agree to remain for at least two years.
- Only owner-occupied residences will be eligible, although a tenant would be eligible subject to the conditions applicable to rental units. Existing owners will be required to demonstrate that mortgage, maintenance and tax payments are current or have otherwise been lawfully placed in escrow.
Summary of the Individual Assistance Plan – Employment Training Assistance
Thousands of employees were displaced or affected by the World Trade Center disaster. To help provide a better match between the skills offered by affected individuals and those needed by employers, the Plan provides up to $10 million in training grants to businesses and, under the revised Plan, non-profits in the area south of 14th Street. The grants will prioritize individuals affected by the September 11th attacks and will be subject to the following conditions (members of the press should consult the full text of the Plan upon release for more details on eligibility and conditions):
The grants are to be used for training and retraining for skills specific to the needs of the business or non-profit
Eligible firms must employ fewer than 500 people and the maximum benefit is 50% of eligible training costs
The first version of the draft Plan was approved by the LMDC Board at the last meeting on February 21. LMDC conducted an extensive outreach campaign that generated over 1,100 public comments, many of which resulted in changes or refinements to the Plan. The Plan is now subject to an additional comment period ending on April 22, 2002. Funding for the Plan, estimated to cost between $230 million and $287 million, will be provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development through a Community Development Block Grant. The Plan will be submitted to HUD for final approval.