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July 2004

Saving Mitchell-Lama? It Would Not Work for Us

Many of us have read about a new HPD program to save those Mitchell-Lama buildings that have not yet exited the program. Some IPN tenants have argued that the new “law” — which gives owners more financial incentives—would have worked for us.

They are misinformed. First, the program is just that — a program, not a law. In fact, it is hardly a program, just a proposal.

More important, it depends entirely on the landlord’s willingness to stay in Mitchell-Lama. Therefore it is meaningless in high rent districts like Tribeca., where owners get so much more from super-wealthy residents who can afford market rents.

One example: the owners of Manhattan Plaza, a M-L complex, could still participate in the new program. Guess what: they are continuing with their own buyout plans.

So don’t be misled: the program, if it ever gets off the ground, may work for some M-L’s in poor areas. And for that we applaud it. But it has no relevance for us.

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