East Harlem to lose bastion of affordable housing

The 446-unit Lakeview Apartments could leave the Mitchell-Lama program

TRD New York /
Dec.December 07, 2014 01:00 PM

The Lakeview Apartments, a four-building, 446-unit complex, is one of the last remaining state-guaranteed affordable housing complexes in East Harlem. But the complex’s owner hopes to change that.


Lakeview’s landlord plans to remove the properties from the Mitchell-Lama program — a housing program that dates to 1955 — the tenants association and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer told the New York Daily News.

Although the process would take about a year to complete, the prospect of losing their affordable homes has tenants worried.

“I can take in a movie if I want, I don’t have to choose between whether to eat or pay rent,” Jo Ann Lawson, 66, told the Daily News. Lawson is that head of the Lakeview Tenant Association and has lived in a four-bedroom apartment at the complex for more than 20 years. “To pay rent in New York nowadays, I’d have to eat cat food. I don’t want to lose what I have here.”

As of last year, 93 of the 269 properties the state has overseen since the Mitchell-Lama program’s inception had ditched their affordable status, according to the state Homes and Community Renewal agency. [NYDN]Christopher Cameron

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