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Harlem Mitchell-Lama Building To Remain Affordable For 40 Years

By: Brendan Krisel, Patch National Staff Source: Patch

The Lakeview Apartments’ Mitchell-Lama status will be dissolved in a deal to keep the building affordable for the next four decades.

East Harlem, NY (October 1, 2018)—

State officials revealed more information Thursday about a regulatory deal to preserve affordable housing at one of East Harlem’s last Mitchell-Lama buildings.

Nearly 450 apartment units at the Lakeview Apartments on Fifth Avenue and East 107th Street will be rented at below-market prices for the next 40 years in a deal that will dissolve the building’s status as a Mitchell-lama building, a spokesperson for the LIHC Investment Group said.

Of the apartment complex’s 446 units, 435 will be offered to individuals and families earning 80 percent of the area median income for the next four decades through a Project-Based Rental Assistance program, the spokeswoman said. Occupants of these units will be aided by a Section 8 federal program that will require tenants spend no more than 30 percent on rents.

The remaining 11 units — in the event they become vacant — will offered to individuals and families earning 110 percent of the area median income, a spokesperson for the building owners said.

The deal will actually result in 130 Lakeview Apartments households paying less in rent, LIHC’s Owner Charlie Gendron said.

“Lakeview will remain a bastion of affordable housing for low income families, retirees, and the middle class and we couldn’t be prouder to help deliver this incredible result for our residents,” Gendron said in a statement.

The apartment complex — built in 1974 under the Mitchell-Lama program — was in danger of losing its rent restrictions this year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Longtime residents would have been threatened with displacement should the building, located across from Central Park on the corner of 5th Avenue and 106th Street, raise rents to reflect the market rate in the area.

The deal to preserve affordability at the Lakeview Apartments complex was made due to the efforts of city, state and federal officials. In exchange for keeping the building affordable, LIHC will refinance million worth of outstanding debt to the state at lower interest rates and will receive real estate tax relief from the city, the Daily News first reported.

In addition to four decades of affordability, the deal provides funding for capital improvements in the building, state officials said. LIHC has agreed to perform fixes and upgrades to building roofs, apartment kitchens and bathrooms, the building lobby, laundry rooms and elevators, state officials said.

“This agreement guarantees that residents of Lakeview Apartments will have safe, comfortable, affordable homes for years to come, even as rents continue to rise rapidly around them,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The deal was made possible due to the efforts of Congressman Adriano Espaillat and Senator Chuck Schumer who passed legislation that secured greater levels of Section 8 funding in the 2018 Federal Budget. The lawmakers announced in April that the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program would allow Lakeview Apartments residents the ability to secure long-term contracts to receive Section 8 assistance.

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