We hope you and your loved ones are safe and well. We are all continuing our work from our homes and we wanted to share what’s happening with our Historic Properties Fund program.
This was gearing up to be another busy spring for Mark Weber, Jim Mahoney and Blaire Walsh, who run our Historic Properties Fund (HPF) loan program. It is one of the largest revolving loan funds for preservation in the country. Three projects were underway, including a large slate roofing project at a West Side church. Five more projects in Mount Morris Park, Jackson Heights, NoHo, and Bed Stuy were wrapping up final paperwork and getting ready to begin. These projects would have fixed roofs and parapets and repointed facades. All that stopped last Friday with the Governor’s call for an end to non-essential construction. The HPF team hasn’t stopped, though.
The team normally visits each project at least once a week. They had already switched to phone check ins with borrowers and architects in the last couple of weeks. These calls will continue so that all the projects are ready when it is possible to resume. “Owners are ok, but waiting to see what happens,” Blaire says. Our hands-on approach helping people find the right contractors, and monitoring the work, is unique –and very helpful to borrowers.
We also work with people who have struggled financially. Jim went to Staten Island some years ago and helped an elderly borrower who was having trouble keeping up with things since she had moved into a nursing home. Jim tracked down a relative who could help and we even found a person to buy her house so she had income. In 38 years of this program, we’ve helped people restore more than 260 buildings throughout the Boroughs.
We will get through this. In the meantime, the Conservancy will stay on top of issues and continue our programs in the best way we can. We will always work to preserve the City we love.
For more information you can find all the staff email contacts here.
Best wishes from all of us.