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State retirement fund buys mortgage at ex-OLV Hospital

New York State's Common Retirement Fund has invested in the affordable housing rehabilitation project at the former Our Lady of Victory Hospital in Lackawanna by purchasing its mortgage, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced.

The state pension fund bought the $747,000 mortgage from the Community Preservation Corp. in June, making the work at 55 Melroy Avenue possible by effectively providing money to rehabilitate the facility.

The project involved renovating two of the Catholic Health System hospital's former buildings, gutting them and putting in new roofs, heating and ventilation systems, windows and fixtures, and making them adaptable for the disabled.

The 74-unit senior citizen housing facility contains one- and two-bedroom apartments, with rents on a sliding scale from $275 to $624 per month. Residents must be at least 55 years old.

"We're always looking for investments that do well for the pension fund and do good for New York," DiNapoli said. "This project does both."

The investment is a continuation of the partnership between the $154.5 billion Common Retirement Fund, one of the largest pension funds in the nation, and the Community Preservation Corp. (CPC), a nonprofit mortgage lender that finances multifamily developments throughout New York and New Jersey.

The pension fund assumes the loans from CPC after the project is finished, and collects loan payments from the developer to provide a return on the investment. The loan is insured by the State of New York Mortgage Agency.

Since the partnership began, 8,100 units have been completed, with the pension fund committing $500 million to the program and investing $254 million in mortgages.


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