Mayor’s love affair with affordable housing continues: city sets aside $250M to preserve Mitchell-Lama units

Initiative meant to support city’s goal to preserve or create 300K affordable units

Ryerson Towers and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)
Ryerson Towers and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

The de Blasio administration is setting aside $250 million to help Mitchell-Lama complexes remain affordable.

Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement at Clinton Hill’s Ryerson Towers on Thursday as part of his goal to build or preserve 300,000 affordable housing units by 2026, according to DNAinfo. This is an increase from his original goal of building or preserving 200,000 affordable housing units by 2024.

The money is meant to give loans to and help fund repairs at the city’s Mitchell-Lama complexes, but they will only get the funds if they remain in the program for 20 more years. De Blasio said many apartments in the program are feeling pressured to switch to private units and that about 20,000 units in New York had left the program over the past 30 years.

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“There are about 45,000 apartments in this city in Mitchell-Lama buildings that now are threatened with falling out of affordability and going market-rate,” he said, according to DNAinfo. “Our job is to stop that.”

Mitchell-Lama, a statewide program created in the 1950s, granted tax abatements and subsidized mortgages to developers for the construction and maintenance of rental and co-op properties. In February, residents of the St. James towers in Fort Greene rejected a plan to privatize the Mitchell-Lama building.

In August, the state comptroller issued a report that several Mitchell-Lama buildings were bungling waiting list requirements, letting apartments sit vacant for as many as five years. [DNAinfo]Eddie Small