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Bronx Home Foreclosures Saved by Former Mets Player Vaughn

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Bronx home foreclosures are being turned around by former Mets baseman Mo Vaughn and his partner Eugene Schneur. After retiring from his baseball career in 2003, Vaughn entered the real estate sector in 2004, set up his company called Omni New York and began his journey to become one of the most respected leaders in affordable housing.

After launching his firm in 2004, Vaughn bought 286 affordable housing units in the Bronx and by the following year, he has already accumulated 869 units. Vaughn said that when he set up his company, he wanted people to know that he was serious in putting up a real estate firm that they can trust and respect.

Today, Omni New York has grown to a middle-sized company capable of competing against bigger firms in the acquisition of properties, particularly buildings battered by home foreclosure in New York. In December, Omni was chosen by city officials to buy the dilapidated and foreclosed 416-unit 14-building South Bronx building.

Rafael Cestero, housing development commissioner of New York City, said Omni has proven its capability in turning around troubled real estate projects and rehabilitating Bronx home foreclosures.

Since 2004, Omni New York has spent more than $500 million in acquiring and rehabilitating almost 3,500 units in 21 affordable housing complexes in the Bronx, Long Island, in Brooklyn and even foreclosed new homes in faraway Wyoming.

Most of the buildings in New York acquired by Omni are Section 8 complexes, which are occupied by low-income renters using government vouchers to help them pay the monthly rent. To make its operations viable in the low-income sector, Omni uses tax-exempt bond funding and housing tax credits to acquire buildings covered by rent control laws.

The first project that made Omni popular was the rehabilitation of the Noble Drew Ali Plaza in Brooklyn, whose 358 crumbling units were occupied by drug addicts and dealers. Cestero said that Omni was able to turn the dilapidated complex into a quality place called the Plaza in just two years of aggressive revitalization efforts that included installing 326 security cameras, energy-saving appliances and new elevators.

Last year, Omni was again chosen to acquire 14 low-income apartment buildings that were left to decay by troubled Ocelot Capital Group. With their record in turning around Bronx home foreclosures, Vaughn and his partner Eugene Schneur are expected to fulfill the hopes of renters of these properties to finally live in peaceful and stable surroundings.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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