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FYI: It was good news, bad news at a City Council housing budget hearing Monday. First, Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Jerilyn Perine announced that four banks–Citigroup, JPMorganChase, HSBC and Deutsche Bank–have agreed to put up 80 percent of a $200 million fund that will lend housing developers money to buy and clean up land. The banks’ contribution to the fund, which is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s $3 billion housing plan, frees up $160 million that HPD will now use on housing for low-income and homeless families. However, Commissioner Perine also explained that the mayor’s worst-case scenario budget includes a shift of $66.5 million from the Housing Development Corporation to HPD, to help balance HPD’s books, which translates into 2,000 fewer apartments being built in the next five years. Check out the City Limits analysis of the mayor’s big housing plan. [5/14/03]

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