14 severely neglected buildings in the South Bronx are expected to be taken over by affordable housing developer Omni New York.
The city says the former owner let the buildings fall apart and they fell into foreclosure. Omni will invest up to $1 million in emergency repairs to the buildings, which together have more than 8,500 building code violations, and the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development has promised further resources, according to a report in the Daily News.
The Daily News says Omni was able to purchase the $23.8 million in mortgage debt from Fannie Mae, the federally backed mortgage holder, at a substantial discount - a move applauded by housing advocates.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, announced the formation of a task force to focus on troubled buildings like these. The task force, known as the Predatory Equity Task Force, will track physically and financially distressed buildings and respond to the problems they create for tenants.