October 11, 2014 by westsideneighborhoodalliance
Mireya Navarro, housing reporter for The New York Times, reported on Oct. 9 that a change in housing policy may help to protect affordable housing in NYC.
“In a policy shift that could help New York City retain its existing supply of affordable housing, the state will allow owners of hundreds of mixed-income rental buildings to sell most of their apartments as long as they permanently preserve their low-income rentals or increase their number,” Navarro wrote.
“The new policy guidelines apply to existing rental buildings that participate in government programs offering subsidies such as bond financing and tax breaks to property owners who set 20 percent of apartments aside for low-income households,” she continued. “The affordability restrictions on these buildings typically expire after a fixed period, often 30 years or more. At that point, many owners convert their properties to condominiums and co-ops and the affordable units are lost.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio called the policy change a new tool “to preserve affordable apartments in perpetuity.”
If de Blasio is correct, rental building owners looking to take advantage of New York’s booming real estate market by selling their units will be able to do so in exchange for preserving or expanding the number of low-income apartments they own.
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