June 22, 2009

Assembly Passes Legislation To Refinance Starrett City

Housing Complex Will Continue to Provide Affordable Mitchell-Lama Housing

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Housing Committee Chair Vito Lopez announced that the Assembly has passed legislation to allow the Starrett City residential complex in Brooklyn to pursue financing options that would keep the project in the Mitchell-Lama program for thirty more years.

The measure (A.8838), sponsored by Assemblywoman Inez Barron, is a product of the Assembly Majority's continued commitment to provide safe and affordable housing units across New York State.

"During this economic recession, access to affordable housing for working families is of particular importance," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "For years, so many of our hard-working city residents have called this development home and now will no longer fear being priced out of their community. This legislation will establish a separate fund for maintenance, repairs and upgrades to this one-of-a-kind complex and guarantees that Starrett will remain diverse and affordable."

"Tenants have been the heart of Starrett City since its beginning. This legislation will support those residents who have spent their lives developing the community into what it is today," said Lopez (D-Brooklyn). "Tenants can be assured that their homes will remain affordable and that much needed repairs and improvements will be made."

"This legislation will help my community stay strong and let the residents who have built it stay in their homes," said Barron (D-Brooklyn). "I would like to thank Speaker Silver and Chairman Lopez for their leadership and support."

Since the early 1950s, the Mitchell-Lama program has provided affordable housing to low- and moderate-income families in New York. The largest and most successful rental complex under this program has been Starrett City, a property that consists of 153 acres of developed land that includes 46 high-rise apartment buildings and 5,881 apartment units.

The measure will allow the owners of Starrett City to refinance the project and provide funds for repairs and capital improvements to the residential tower structures and to many of the individual units.

Under the new agreement at least $40 million will be dedicated to funding for crucial repairs and improvements such as: The legislation also gives tenants input into the allocation of the funds and works to build a strong working relationship between tenants, elected officials and owners by requiring regularly scheduled meetings between the parties.