Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that the city will invest $250 million to protect 15,000 Mitchell-Lama apartments from going to market rate. The investment is part of the city’s initiative to create or preserve 300,000 units of affordable housing by 2026. The new program will address over 15,000 Mitchell-Lama homes where affordability is at risk over the next eight years.
Almost 20,000 apartments once covered under the Mitchell-Lama program have been converted to market-rate housing since 1989. With the initial investment, the city’s intent is to prevent loss of the affordable apartments by restructuring existing debt, providing long-term tax benefits and funding critical capital repairs. Many Mitchell-Lama developments, originally funded by the federal government, date from the 1950s and 1960s and now require significant rehabilitation work.
In addition to low-cost financing, the program will offer extended property tax exemptions. These strategies will help reduce operating costs in order to keep rents and maintenance fees lower for residents. In exchange for the benefits, property owners agree to keep their buildings affordable for at least 20 more years, effectively extending their affordability for another generation or more.
“As New York becomes increasingly unaffordable, many New Yorkers feel like they don’t have a fair shot. That’s why investing in new housing, setting high goals, and protecting existing affordable units is critical like never before. The future of our city tomorrow rests on our ability to make the right investments today.” said City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
The mayor said, “This is about keeping New York, New York. This is about not letting New York City slip away.”
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