New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021




The Clock Is Ticking for Penn South


Penn South

The affordable Penn South co-op in Manhattan (image via Google Maps)

Jan. 11, 2017

The sprawling Penn South complex, one of Manhattan’s last low- and moderate-income co-ops, is racing the clock to secure a $190 million federal loan before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on Jan. 20.

“With the change in administration, potentially the new administration won’t be interested in affordable housing,” Penn South’s managing agent, Brendan Keany, tells Habitat. “We’re very concerned that we’re not going to be approved.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer has written a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), urging the federal agency to act quickly to approve the $190 loan from the department of Housing and Urban Development, the Daily News reports. The money will refinance the underlying mortgages of the 2,820-unit co-op and keep it affordable for the next 22 years.

In his letter to OMB, Schumer said that if the units stopped being affordable, hundreds of low- and moderate-income New Yorkers would suffer. “Families would face significant financial hardship,” he wrote, “and the stitches that bind that community would begin to unravel.”

The current OMB Director Shaun Donovan, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, previously worked for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as Housing Preservation and Development commissioner, so he’s familiar with the low- and moderate-income development between Eighth and Ninth Avenues that was erected in 1962 and just underwent a massive overhaul of its heating and cooling system.

Keany notes that Trump’s nominee to head HUD, Dr. Ben Carson, has stated publicly that he’s opposed to subsidized housing. The process to secure the $190 million HUD loan was set in motion in November 2015, Keany says. There are nine days left till Inauguration Day.

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