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CPC celebrates 25 years of making housing affordable.

The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), the private-public partnership that has been one of the leading developers of affordable housing in New York State, celebrated its 25th anniversary of assisting low- and moderate-income families in obtaining high-quality affordable housing.

Joining CPC President Michael D. Lappin and Chairman Michael Hegarty at a ceremony marking CPC's 25 of commitment to rebuilding New York's housing were Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey, Assistant Secretary of Housing Nicholas Retsinas and Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Deborah C. Wright.

Since its creation in 1974, as a private not-for-profit organization by New York City's leading commercial banks, CPC has financed the construction or rehabilitation of over 41,000 units of affordable housing representing a private and public investment of almost $1.3 billion.

President and CEO of CPC Michael Lappin said, "When we began 20 years ago, New York's aging housing stock was in serious decay. Apartment buildings were abandoned and falling into public ownership at an alarming rate, and both landlords and tenants alike were calling upon government and the private sector for help. This call to action brought together New York's financial community, and state and city housing agencies with a mission to provide private investment in partnership with communities to preserve and rebuild neighborhoods."

"One only need look at the youngsters playing on the streets in revitalized neighborhoods in the South Bronx, Harlem and Crown Heights to witness the very positive results of the private and public sectors working together," Lappin added.

CPC was designed to work with government and the financial community to provide private capital and create a positive environment for housing investment. Over the years, CPC's lending area grew from its original offices in Washington Heights/Inwood and Crown Heights to the five boroughs of New York City and then to Long Island and the Mid-Hudson Valley. Just this year, the expansion throughout New York State was completed with the recent merger with CPC's upstate sister organization, the Community Lending Corporation (CLC). Together, CPC and CLC have lending offices in Albany, Buffalo. Hawthorne, Syracuse and New York City and have grown to include more than one hundred commercial and savings banks, thrifts and insurance companies.

Michael Hegarty, CPC's Chairman and Senior Executive Vice President of Chemical Bank, said "More than simply an investment in brick and mortar, CPC and its member financial institutions have contributed to the creation of a long-lasting infrastructure in our low- and moderate-income communities."

In a video presentation in honor of CPC's achievements, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani spoke of this public-private success story when he said "The work that CPC has accomplished is critical to the City of New York. It is a clear example of how the public and private sectors can work together as partners and must work together to support the viability of our city's neighborhoods. We need CPC to expand its work for the next 20 years."

HPD Commissioner Deborah C. Wright said "For the past 20 years, HPD has worked hand-in-hand with the Community Preservation Corporation, and this teamwork has made possible the rehabilitation of tens of thousands of housing units, both privately and city-owned. The ripple effect of these efforts is enormous, strengthening the private housing market and creating affordable housing opportunities in once-vacant shells. We have forged a strong relationship with CPC, which is now growing in new directions as CPC assumes greater challenges in diverse areas, from directly processing city-assisted loans to providing technical and financial assistance to local not-for-profits and entrepreneurs, enabling them to participate more fully in HPD programs."

Some of CPC's greatest successes can be seen in communities where housing was abandoned in large numbers. CPC's work in Harlem, for example, resulted in the rebuilding of 5,000 apartments, providing homes to thousands of families. In the South Bronx, over 7,000 homes were restored and entire blocks revitalized. In communities outside of New York City, CPC has rebuilt historic buildings in the aged downtown areas of Newburgh and other towns in the Mid-Hudson Valley, turning vacant revolutionary-era structures into new homes for low-income families.

"Twenty years ago many of us here today had a vision of revitalized neighborhoods, with restored housing and vibrant commercial activities; a vision of communities thriving, children playing stoop ball and families proud of their homes. Today, we can see that vision taking shape. With what we have all accomplished as a model for what is truly possible, I hope that the next 20 years will bring the opportunity of affordable housing to thousands more families throughout New York State," said Lappin.
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Title Annotation:Profile of the Week: Community Preservation Corporation; Community Preservation Corporation
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 28, 1995
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