NYC Comptroller Lander, Mayor Adams, Public Advocate Williams, NYCERS Pension Trustees, and Partners Celebrate $60 Million Investment in Loan Portfolio That Will Preserve Nearly 35,000 Rental Units

NYC Comptroller Lander, Mayor Adams, Public Advocate Williams, NYCERS Pension Trustees, and Partners Celebrate $60 Million Investment in Loan Portfolio That Will Preserve Nearly 35,000 Rental Units

Editorial credit: lev radin /

By Comptroller Press Office

New York, NY – New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and trustees of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) today announced an investment of up to $60 million to preserve rent-stabilized housing units impacted by the sudden collapse of Signature Bank last spring. The investment was made in Community Stabilization Partners — a joint venture led by Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) and Related Fund Management (RFM) — leading affordable housing providers in New York City. The investment will preserve the largest amount of rent-stabilized housing of any investment in NYCERS history and will both advance the stabilization of much-needed affordable housing and deliver competitive returns for retirees. 

“Today’s announcement is a shining example of creative and prudent investments we can make to preserve existing housing that we simply cannot afford to lose,” said Comptroller Lander. “Protecting and expanding our affordable housing supply through sound investment decisions is a major priority of my office, in partnership with NYCERS trustees. I am grateful to my fellow trustees for their work to secure this opportunity and thrilled to collaborate with the Community Preservation Corporation, Related Fund Management and Neighborhood Restore who have decades-long experience ensuring that New Yorkers have an opportunity to afford to live in the city they love. I also want to praise the diligent work of the FDIC, HCR, and HPD who found creative ways to structure a public-private partnership to preserve this critical stock of affordable housing, and advocates including ANHD and UNHP who worked tireless to organize and protect tenants within these buildings. The 35,000 rental units in the Signature portfolio could have faced grave risks as a result of the bank’s collapse – preserving them is an enormous team effort, and we are proud to be part of it.” 

“Today, we are proud to announce a $60 million investment from our NYCERS pension fund that will go toward preserving 35,000 units of affordable housing,” said Mayor Adams. “This housing is critical to making our city more affordable and livable for working-class New Yorkers, and I want to thank everyone who came together to make sure we got this deal done, including Community Preservation Corporation, Related Fund Management, Neighborhood Housing Restore, our trustees, and our partners in labor. When we came into office two years ago, we had a mission: protect public safety, rebuild the economy, and make this city more livable for hardworking New Yorkers and this investment is a step toward all three of those goals.” 

“We should be using every tool available to address the housing and homelessness crisis, and this investment is a strong safeguard against the unsteady practices of some financial institutions and housing stock that is falling apart,” said Public Advocate Williams. “Any serious affordable housing plan has to heavily invest in preservation, and together with my trustee designee, I’ve been proud to support this investment in both the tenants and retirees of New York City. I thank all of the partners involved in advancing this historic investment, which will help provide both financial security and housing stability for New Yorkers.” 

When Signature Bank collapsed in March 2023, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was appointed receiver for its portfolio of real estate loans, which included a substantial concentration of rent-stabilized housing in New York City. In December 2023, as part of an RFP process managed by the FDIC, CPC and RFM, partnered to create a new venture, Community Stabilization Partners, which purchased a 5 percent equity interest in Signature Bank’s rent-stabilized loan portfolio, with the remaining 95 percent held by the FDIC as receiver. The portfolio totals approximately 1,140 buildings and 35,000 units with over 80 percent rent regulated and representing approximately 3 percent of New York City’s entire rent regulated housing stock. 

Through the $60 million investment — which NYCERS voted on in March 2024 — NYCERS has become a 25 percent partner in Community Stabilization Partners. NYCERS is partnering with RFM, CPC and Neighborhood Restore due to their extensive expertise and deep roots in preserving and expanding affordable housing. CPC has been a decades-long partner of NYCERS in their efforts to secure strong returns for pension members and beneficiaries, while investing in expanding the city’s affordable housing supply.  

This investment is part of the Economically Targeted Investment program of the five New York City Retirement Systems, managed by the New York City Comptroller Office’s Bureau of Asset Management, and is aimed at achieving strong returns for members and beneficiaries while helping to preserve some of the City’s stock of rent regulated housing. Including today’s investment, NYCERS has invested nearly $700 million in rental apartments in the city, with 17 real estate fund managers. 

“Our city is in the midst of a housing crisis, which is why it’s critical we work together to preserve, protect and expand affordable housing,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “I’m grateful to all our fellow trustees for uniting and making this investment to preserve thousands of rent-stabilized housing units to help keep a roof over our people’s heads. Our families deserve to live with dignity.” 

“For four decades, the NYCRS and CPC relationship has played a critical role in financing the construction and rehabilitation of high quality, affordable multifamily housing for New Yorkers across all five boroughs,” said Rafael E. Cestero, CEO, The Community Preservation Corporation. “We are proud to welcome this important investment by the Comptroller and NYCRS alongside our partner Related Fund Management, which will help preserve the long-term stability of this critical piece of New York City’s affordable housing stock. We understand the unique role that this portfolio of rent regulated housing plays in our neighborhoods, along with the distinct financial challenges it faces, and we are dedicated to working with all of our partners to ensure that it remains a haven of affordability. My thanks to Comptroller Lander for his work to make our neighborhoods more affordable and equitable, to the FDIC and our partners in CSP, and to the City and State for their commitment to securing the future of these properties.” 

“We are excited to have NYCERS participate in the Community Stabilizations Partners initiative,” said Salvatore D’Avola, Executive Director of Neighborhood Restore. “This significant investment will greatly enhance our ability to preserve this vulnerable rent regulated housing in New York City.” 

“This NYCERS investment in affordable housing shows how we can deploy investments to continue making New York an accessible place to live while protecting the hard-earned pensions of our city workers,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “The continued partnership between the mayor, the trustees of the pensions systems, the comptroller, and the private sector demonstrates how the City of New York can collaborate to implement a working people’s agenda.”    

“I’m thrilled to see NYCERS’ $60 million investment in Community Stabilization Partners, a joint venture with some of the most experienced affordable housing providers in New York City,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “This Economically Targeted Investment not only infuses a new source of capital into preserving a critical source of housing for thousands of New Yorkers, but it will also deliver for retirees over time. I commend the comptroller and other NYCERS trustees for joining our administration in demonstrating what is possible through sound local investments like this.” 

“Given the tremendous need for affordable housing options in New York City, the efforts to protect 35,000 mostly rent stabilized housing units is a huge victory for residents and a testament to what can be accomplished when government and stakeholders work together,” said New York State Home and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas. “We extend a special thanks to City Comptroller Lander, the Association for Neighborhood Housing Development, University Neighborhood Housing Program, Community Preservation Corporation, Neighborhood Restore, and all those who were instrumental in helping us preserve this critical portfolio.” 

“We cannot allow bad actors or bad business to put NYC’s precise affordable housing stock in jeopardy. ANHD applauds the NYC Comptroller’s investment to stabilize over 30,000 rent-regulated housing units formerly held by Signature Bank. We look forward to continuing to partner with the NYC Comptroller, the Community Stabilization Partners, and the FDIC to ensure the preservation of NYC’s affordable housing and that our tenants live in safe and healthy conditions,” said Barika Williams, Executive Director, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development 

“It’s great to have NYCERS investment in this collaboration to preserve and improve this important portfolio of multi-family housing spread around the City of New York,” said Jim Buckley, Executive Director, the United Neighborhood Housing Program. 

“We are thankful that city officials are taking action to address the severe financial distress facing rent-stabilized housing,” said Jay Martin, Executive Director of the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP). “We are at a moment of crisis for deeply affordable rent-stabilized housing and we need creative solutions to lower costs and increase investment in aging buildings. We hope that we can build on this proposal and enact more reforms and programs to make sure rent-stabilized housing is protected for future generations.” 

In addition to Comptroller Lander, trustees of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System are as follows:  

Mayor Eric Adams’ Appointee Bryan Berge, Director, Mayor’s Office of Pension and Investments; New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams; Borough Presidents: Mark Levine (Manhattan), Antonio Reynoso (Brooklyn), Donovan Richards Jr. (Queens), Vito Fossella (Staten Island), and Vanessa L. Gibson (Bronx); Henry Garrido, Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME; Richard Davis, President Transport Workers Union Local 100; and Gregory Floyd, President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 237. 

About the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) 

The New York City Employees’ Retirement Systems (NYCERS) is one of the five separate and distinct pension funds which comprise the New York City pension systems. NYCERS serves over 300,000 members and beneficiaries and as of the end of March 2024 was valued at $85.88 billion. 

The New York City Comptroller serves as trustee to, and custodian and investment advisor for the five Systems, which are governed independently. The Comptroller’s Bureau of Asset Management oversees the investment portfolio for each System and related defined contribution funds for the Systems on behalf of the Comptroller. 

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