New York – Agreement to Preserve Affordability

Governor Hochul Announces Agreement to Preserve Affordability at Inwood Tower in Manhattan

New York (STL.News) Governor Kathy Hochul announced an agreement to preserve affordability over the next 30 years for 190 households at Inwood Tower, a Mitchell-Lama cooperative development in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.  As part of the agreement, New York State Homes and Community Renewal will provide a $7.6 million subsidy loan that will enable the cooperative to undertake critical capital repairs.  With today’s announcement, the State has now kept more than 22,000 Mitchell-Lama apartments affordable for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers as part of its five-year Housing Plan.

“As New York State takes action to combat the housing crisis in the wake of the pandemic, this agreement protects critical support for an affordable housing community in an increasingly unaffordable neighborhood,” Governor Hochul said. “New York will continue to preserve and upgrade affordable housing developments across the State in order to ensure that they remain a safe and affordable housing resource for the next generation of New Yorkers.”

Inwood Tower is a state-supervised Mitchell-Lama housing cooperative constructed in 1963 to provide affordable homeownership opportunities to low- and moderate- -income New Yorkers.  As part of the agreement, Inwood Tower Inc. has committed to remain in the Mitchell-Lama program for at least 30 years.

In addition to preserving Inwood Tower’s 190 affordable homes through 2052, the agreement will pave the way for critical capital improvements.  The scope of improvements will include elevator repairs, roof replacement, gas line repairs, replacement of boilers and associated piping, radiator replacement, and facade and brick repointing.  The repairs also include several energy-efficiency measures that will reduce energy costs for the cooperative.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “We are proud of this agreement to preserve Inwood Tower’s 190 apartments as affordable homeownership opportunities, while also upgrading the building’s aging systems and improving energy efficiency.  The state’s Mitchell-Lama program was designed to help low- and moderate-income New Yorkers own or rent a quality home in the neighborhood of their choice.  With over 22,000 rental and cooperative Mitchell-Lama homes preserved over the last five years, we have extended the program’s promise to thousands of current and future residents across the state and helped to keep New York’s communities accessible for hard working families and seniors.”

Inwood Tower Cooperative Board President Eileen King said, “The cooperators of Inwood Tower recognize that through the Mitchell-Lama Program, we enjoy fair housing that is integrated and diverse.  With this loan, Inwood Tower can address major capital repairs needed for our nearly 60-year old building and comply with new environmental requirements and still maintain affordability for decades to come.  Homes and Community Renewal continues the commitment of Mitchell-Lama housing to reduce the rent burden on families so that they are not using most of their income for housing costs.”

Senator Robert Jackson said, “In a rising housing market, it would do little good to require affordable homes or apartments without providing a mechanism to ensure that the units remain affordable over time.  And today, thanks to this agreement to preserve affordability, 190 households will stay affordable at the Inwood Tower at the Mitchell-Lama cooperative development over the next 30 years.  Preserving existing affordable housing prevents displacement, having a lasting positive impact on generations of families as homeowners in the Washington Heights neighborhood.

Assemblymember Manny De Los Santos said, “The lack of affordable housing is a crisis we are confronted with each day in our community.  I applaud the efforts by Governor Hochul to preserve Inwood Tower within the Mitchell-Lama program and make critical repairs so our neighbors can stay in their homes for years to come.  I look forward to continuing my work with Governor Hochul to expand Mitchell-Lama opportunities for residents in the 72nd Assembly District.”

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said, “Every Mitchell-Lama unit that is preserved is a win for tenants and is progress in the fight for affordable housing.  Affordable housing shouldn’t come at the expense of a building’s deterioration, and the State’s loan to Inwood Tower ensures that the building doesn’t have to abandon the Mitchell-Lama structure just so that tenants have improved elevators and utilities.  This is a shining example of how the State’s five-year Housing Plan can help maintain the city’s affordable housing stock for decades to come.”

City Council Member Carmen De La Rosa said,”Inwood is a hub of culture, community, and rich history.  We must remain vigilant and work to preserve and protect our low and middle income residents from displacement.  This plan will ensure critical improvements are made while safeguarding the tenants who have made Inwood Towers their home.”