City Council member Melissa Mark-Viverito has a net worth of $1.5 million, but continues to receive benefits from a no-interest loan program through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
The city program, intended to assist low- and moderate-income homebuyers, allows Mark-Viverito to pay zero interest on a $70,400 loan she took out in order to buy a three-story townhouse on East 111th Street in Harlem, an investment property. She also saves money in city property taxes, including $2,590 off a 2012 bill of $8,291, through the program, the New York Daily News reported.
Meanwhile, she is partial owner of four Puerto Rico properties, including seven acres of undeveloped land, a house near San Juan, Puerto Rico, valued at $500,000, and two condominium units that are rented out, the News said.
Mark-Viverito is legally allowed to receive the no-interest loan benefits, despite the fact that her financial status is healthier now, the News said. She was eligible for the program in 1998, when she bought the 111th Street home and worked for a health care workers’ union.
As a Council member, Mark-Viverito currently earns $112,500 a year. She has served on the City Council since 2006.
She is a top candidate for the Council speaker seat, which Council members will decide next Tuesday.
“I find it very troubling that this woman who’s a multimillionaire lives in one of these units … (while) the rest of us in East Harlem are struggling to get by,” Gwen Goodwin, who competed against Mark-Viverito for her Council seat in September, told the News. [NYDN] — Mark Maurer