New York Dems propose $750M Mitchell-Lama revival

Co-op City in the Bronx
Co-op City in the Bronx

A group of New York Democrats known as the Independent Democratic Conference will propose a $750 million rebirth of the Mitchell-Lama middle-income housing program today in the New York state Senate.

Under the plan, thousands of units would be developed in New York City as well as in Yonkers, Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester through 2019.

The state would have to pay $150 million annually to provide developers with less expensive mortgages. Also, developers would receive a new tax credit, to help such projects pencil out financially.

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Mitchell-Lama, created in the 1950s, is a statewide program that granted tax abatements and subsidized mortgages to developers for the construction and maintenance of rental and co-op properties. The resulting tens of thousands of Mitchell-Lama units in New York City were priced below market rate and rented or purchased by low- to middle-income tenants or buyers. More than 90 of the 169 state-supervised Mitchell-Lama buildings have since left the program.

John Kelly, chair of the National Housing Conference, said middle-income housing costs the state more than low-income housing because of the lack of federal subsidies.

“The rub is the concern about allocation of resources. The governor has a strongly ambitious housing program that works with the most needy,” Kelly told the Wall Street Journal. “I would not want to see resources taken away from those people to build middle-income housing.”

Saparn Realty’s Alan Gorelick was indicted yesterday for stealing nearly $611,000 from Harway Terrace, a Mitchell-Lama housing complex in Brooklyn, as previously reported. [WSJ]Mark Maurer