Harlem Mitchell-Lama Housing Affordable Saved By Pols In Harlem

Patch reports that one of East Harlem’s last-remaining Mitchell-Lama housing developments will be kept affordable for at least 20 more years, local elected officials announced.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Congressman Adriano Espaillat said that funding has been secured as part of a federal spending bill to ensure rents at the Lakeview Apartments on Fifth Avenue and East 107th Street remain affordable for current tenants.

The apartment complex, built in 1974 under the Mitchell-Lama program, was in danger of losing its rent restrictions, Schumer and Espaillat said. Because the apartment building is in an extremely desirable location, right across the street from Central Park, hundreds of low- and middle-income tenants would be displaced without restrictions on rents, Schumer said.

“Every New Yorker dreams of living with dignity in a home that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg,” Schumer said in a statement. “But if Lakeview residents saw an unfair rent increase many families would suddenly find themselves in a nightmare scenario.”

In order to preserve affordable housing on the site, Schumer and Espaillat were able to include language in this year’s omnibus spending bill that extends a program called Rental Assistance Demonstration to the Lakeview Apartments.

Under the RAD program building tenants will be able to convert their assistance to a 20-year, Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance contract, the lawmakers said. This type of contract will ensure that tenants at the Lakeview Apartments will not be charged rents similar to the luxury-type housing that’s been built on Fifth Avenue in the years since 1974.

“Ensuring affordable housing is accessible to all individuals regardless of race or income is vital to our country’s success and helps our community thrive,” Espaillat said in a statement. “Safeguarding adequate funding and federal resources to preserve public housing like Lakeview is imperative to healthy communities, thriving cities, and our economy.”

Photo by Google Maps street view

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