Photo by David L Roush on Wikimedia
The world’s largest housing cooperative will remain affordable for another three decades, the city announced Friday. Home to more than 15,300 apartments across 72 buildings in the Bronx, Co-Op City opened in 1968 as part of the Mitchell-Lama program. The deal reached between the co-op board and the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development guarantees the development’s participation in the Mitchell-Lama program until 2052.
“We are facing an unprecedented crisis, and after we have defeated this virus and begin to pick up the pieces, we will need affordable housing like never before,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press release. “Locking in the affordability of these homes across the city will be crucial to ensuring stability for New Yorkers as we recover.”
Co-Op City will also receive $1 million from the City Council to make accessibility upgrades at 45 buildings, which includes making entrances 100 percent ADA compliant. The deal gives the co-op access to $8.5 million of its own reserves for more improvements, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The city also secured the affordability for 384 units in Prospect Park South and 327 homes across 21 buildings for the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association in Manhattan. The association is a limited-equity co-op on a community land trust. With $1.5 in funding from the office of Attorney General Letitia James, Cooper Square will expand its services for local seniors.
“We must do everything in our power to protect New Yorkers during these challenging times,” James said in a statement. “Ensuring that thousands of New Yorkers can remain in their homes without additional financial stress will provide much needed stability and reassurance in the face of this crisis.”
The city last year said it would restructure the Mitchell-Lama program to weed out abuse issues and its notoriously long waiting list. The initial terms of the Mitchell-Lama contracts from the 1950s expired in 20 to 35 years, which allowed participating developers to convert their units to market rent.
In 2017, de Blasio announced a plan to invest $250 million to protect thousands of Mitchell-Lama apartments from being converted to market rate.
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