Monday, March 05, 2007

A Temporary Victory for Affordable Housing

We won a temporary victory last week when U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alfonso Jackson rejected the proposed sale of Starrett City to David Bistricer and Clipper Equities LLC. From their proposal to pay almost a quarter of a million dollars per apartment, it was no secret that Bistricer and Clipper Equities planned to make money on the deal by throwing out the working families that live in Starrett City now and converting their homes to luxury condos.

Done enjoying the moment? Good, because one shot victories won't cut it, and there's still a lot of work in front of us. We need a long term plan to protect affordable housing in New York.

Making that point, the current owners of Starrett City are threatening to do an end run around the tenants and take Starrett City out of federal and state affordable housing programs. Bistricer might be out of the picture, but his plan lives on. From the New York Times:
The current owners, Starrett City Associates, are likely to leave the federal and state housing programs, much as Mr. Bistricer would do, according to real estate executives.
If we're going to secure New York's affordable housing, we need to start with the state legislature passing the Save Starrett City Law, which would protect nearly 65,000 Mitchell-Lama apartments, including those at Starrett City. The problem's getting worse, but it's still a problem we can solve.

If you haven't already, sign the Working Families petition for Affordable Housing.

More soon.

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