Mitchell-Lama Housing accountability bill now law

Sen. Roxanne J. Persaud.

A bill sponsored by Brooklyn Sen. Roxanne J. Persaud that seeks better accountability at the Mitchell-Lama Housing program has been signed into law.

“This legislation intends to collect more data from the Mitchell-Lama Housing program and requires a mandated annual report sent to the State Comptroller and the Attorney General for further oversight,” said the Guyanese-born Persaud, who represents the 19th Senatorial District in Brooklyn.

“Limited-profit housing companies (LPCs) are eligible to voluntarily dissolve and withdraw from the Mitchell-Lama program upon prepayment of the mortgage after 20 years from initial occupancy, or after 35 years from initial occupancy, in the case of developments aided by loans issued before May 1, 1959,” she added, stating that this process is often referred to as dissolution or “buying out” of the program.

Persaud said “buy-outs can have a tremendous negative impact on tenants and the community because the units usually return to the market at much higher prices.

“Therefore, examining such data could help the state improve the Michell-Lama Housing program,” she said. “Finding an affordable place to live in New York is difficult as is. “And, every year, it seems like more Mitchell-Lama housing units are being bought out and listed at market-rate prices.

“This new legislation will help the state keep track of these buy-outs, in hopes that the data can be used to improve the Mitchell-Lama program and help preserve the affordable housing stock across the city,” she added.

Persaud thanked Assembly Member Michael Blake for sponsoring the bill in the Assembly and applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo for signing it into law.

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