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Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul, Secretary Fudge, Senator Schumer, and Representative Bowman Announce Approval of Loan Refinancing to Maintain Housing Quality and Affordability for Co-op City

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Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, Senator Charles Schumer, and Representative Jamaal Bowman announced that Riverbay Corporation, the management company for Co-op City, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Wells Fargo, the Mortgage Insurance Fund of the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and NYC Housing Development Corporation have processed and approved Co-op City’s Department of Housing and Urban Development loan refinance. The refinance will maintain long-term housing quality and affordability for the tens of thousands of residents who call Co-op City home. Refinancing provides the housing company with $124 million in proceeds that will be used for capital improvements, including upgrades to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, façade maintenance, and electrical system upgrades. More information is available here.

VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

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AUDIO of the event is available here.

PHOTOS of the event will be available on the Governor’s Flickr page.

A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:

So many great friends. Good morning, everyone. What a spectacular day here in Co-op City, long overdue. You finally get everything to work again, elevators working. Can you imagine the transformational possibilities of things just working? Wow. You’ve waited a long time for this, and this is what we celebrate here today.

I am here with some amazing leaders who made this happen. Chuck Schumer, our Senator, Majority Leader. No, no, I’m not done. You wait a minute. We’re sharing a little news here, because I just became a grandma, but he was telling me that there’s nothing as amazing as being a grandparent, but we both agreed that fixing Co-op City might be right up there as number two. He has worked so hard for this. Thank you, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for putting your heart and soul into this project, because I know this meant so much to you and your constituents here.

It also doesn’t hurt to have a congressperson who’s so engaged, who cares so deeply about this community. And that is our Congressman Jamaal Bowman is here. Let’s give him a round of applause as well.

And one of my true allies and friends in our state Senate, Jamaal Bailey, we are here to give out – we were here together, giving out turkeys a few months ago. So, he’s done an amazing job. What a great individual, just personally, the integrity he has. I love working with him as well. Yes, he is the best, you have the best. Thank you for electing the best. I mean, you are responsible for these individuals.

Assemblymember Mike Benedetto could not be here, but he sends his regards.

We also have some amazing leaders in government. Alicka Ampry-Samuel. These three names, they get you a little bit, you know, but is a great individual, a person who I got to know when she was in local government, she is now the Regional Director for HUD. That is a position of power. We are blessed to have her. Let’s give her a round of applause as well.

RuthAnne Visnauskas is my Commissioner of HCR, Housing and Community Renewals. She is out there every single day, making sure people have the dignity of a good home over their heads. Let’s give her a round of applause.

Bernard Cylich, our Board President of Riverbay Corporation, Bernard.

And all of our partners in the Adams administration and NYC Housing Development Corporation for their partnership, because this is what it’s all about. Do we know that word partnership? You hear it a lot, right? What does it really mean? You know how rare it’s been when you get the federal, the state and the local and the local stakeholders, all working together? Just imagine the possibilities if this was the norm. My friends, this will be the norm with the team behind me and the elected officials you have, because we’re going to change people’s perceptions of their government now. Let them know that we do care and we do deliver. That’s what this is all about.

So here we have this historic partnership. This number is so big I can barely say it.$621.5 million, a refinancing agreement that’ll do two things. It provides affordable home ownership across, and I’m going to get this number, 15,372 Mitchell-Lama units for the next – you want to hear this – next 35 years. It also, and you’ve been waiting for this, provides a transformative injection of money for repairs improvements and upgrades. And that’ll be $124 million over the next 10 years. So let’s get that done. Let’s make sure that happens. And this is going to happen because of city and the state’s credit backing as well. You’ll hear about the federal role from the Senator in a couple of minutes.

This allows us to modernize Co-op City without raising maintenance costs. How does that sound? How does that sound? We have to protect long-term affordability in places like the Bronx for not just a forty-five thousand people call Co-op City home, but everywhere, because that is a basic human right. Is it not a basic human right to be able to afford a place to live in dignity with your friends, your community? This is why we’re so proud of what has occurred here with HUD, our Senator, as well as our Congress Member as well.

So, Co-op City is your home. You love it. This is a place – you love this place. I can feel it. Every time I’ve come here, I sense that sense of pride, but it started with a little bit of a rebellious spirit. You know the history here. Yeah. Yeah. You’re all a bunch of rabble-rousers, aren’t you? Okay. That’s fine. That’s how I started. It’s how it all starts, but also, you know, 1975, were any of you born back then? You all look too young. When they started messing around with mismanagement and defaulting on their loans, what did the residents do? Did they sit around and complain? Oh no, this is awful. No, they stood up and they fought back and they withheld their money, their rent money, for over 13 months. That’s the power of the people. That’s the power that’s in the DNA of everybody who lives here. So longest strike of its kind. It was unique, but that says something about the people who call this great place their home.

So, we’re going to continue working on this project, continue making sure that everyone knows. I read some language from a poem – did you know there is a poem written about Co-op City? Nobody wrote a poem about my hometown. I think this is pretty neat. Nina Wohl wrote in her poem, “Ode to Co-op City,” Ode to Co-op City, that’s pretty neat. “From every road it comes into view/Rising up like mountain ranges do/Swinging round like a Chinese Wall/In masses hold all eyes in thrall.”

This is a magnificent place to live and the spirit that is here is so powerful. And that’s why we’re going to continue, not just today – this is a long-term investment in not just buildings, not just at a place, but in the people. That’s what I love about announcements like today and I want to congratulate all of you.

One more thing – Metro North is coming here, too, by the way you guys look, let’s get that done. That’ll cut our commute – hold on. That’ll be another announcement. I’m very excited about this. We can’t do it all at once. Okay. Then I get all the other parts of the state all jealous. I’m a mom of a big state as well as a grandma now. So I have to roll out our announcements, but we’re very excited about that as well.

I am very, very proud at this point to introduce someone who’s – I know he’s our Senator, but the national stature to have the highest ranked individual in the entire United States Senate is our own hometown Senator. That is extraordinary. That’s how we have the money for projects.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give a warm round of applause to our Senator Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer.



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