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Preservation of Mitchell-Lama Housing


To Explore Means for Preserving Existing Mitchell-Lama Units and Providing Incentives for Housing Companies to Remian in the Program

Assembly Hearing Room

Room 1923 - 19th Floor
250 Broadway
New York, NY 10007

March 26, 2004
12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Many limited-profit housing companies are exercising their option to buy-out of the Mitchell-Lama program, especially in New York City. Existing middle-income tenants in Mitchell-Lama projects will be faced with eviction if they cannot afford the new market rent. To address this problem, legislation has been introduced (A9851 - Lopez) to provide incentives for housing compnaies to remain in the program as well as provide protections for existing Mitchell-Lama tenants who live in buildings contemplating buy-out.

Please see the reverse side for a list of subjects to which witnesses may direct their testimony, and for a description of the bills which will be discussed at the hearing.

Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes' duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.

Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who many have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Vito J. Lopez

Member of Assembly
Committee on Housing


  1. Of the approximately 140,000 apartments built in the Mitchell-Lama program it is estimated that 17,000 have been withdrawn from the system. What can be done to encourage owners to remain in the system and continue offering below-market rents for middle-income New Yorkers? What specific regulatory and/or legislative actions would you recommend to increase Program retention?
  2. The Appellate Division, First Department, recently ruled in In re KSLM-Columbus Apartments Inc. V. New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, to allow the owner of Westgate Apartments to apply for rent adjustments to bring the rents to market rates. What effect will this ruling have on other Mitchell-Lama developments? What incentives can be provided to owners to remain in the Mitchell-Lama program in light of this ruling? What other steps can residents and the legislature take to address this ruling?
  3. The Assembly recently introduced A.9851 (Lopez) at the request of the Mayor of New York City. The bill provides an incentive for owners to remain in the program by authorizing city-supervised Mitchell-Lama rental developments to pay dividends in excess of 6% if approved by HPD, and have its units subject to annual rent increases established by the Rent Guidelines Board. Will this incentive be enough to encourage owners to remain in the Mitchell-Lama program? What other incentives should be included in this or other legislation?
  4. How can the State and its municipalities work to replace the loss of Mitchell-Lama housing? What would be the costs and benefits of creating a new moderate-income housing initiative modeled after the Mitchell-Lama Program?
  5. The business community has voiced concern about protecting in-place tenants who are their low-wage earners. How can government aid the business community and at the same time preserve affordable housing units such as Mitchell-Lama units?
  6. The current Federal budget proposal will have an adverse impact on Mitchell-Lamas that receive Section 236 financing, due to the proposed changes to the "Enhanced" Section 8 Voucher rules, including the reduction of subsidies after twelve months. What can the State do to prevent the potential loss of the "Enhanced" Section 8 Voucher?


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on The Preservation Of Mitchell-Lama Housing are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail it to:

Caryn Canfield
Committee Assistant
Assembly Committee on Housing
Room 513 - Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Email: canfiec@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4355
Fax: (518) 455-4128

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