Starrett City Will Remain Affordable, Says HUD Secretary

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorNew York–Senator Charles E. Schumer, Gov. David A. Paterson and local politicians and tenant advocates released a detailed blueprint this week for evaluating any potential sale of Starrett City, a 5,881-unit affordable housing community in Brooklyn, New York, which is the largest federally subsidized development in the United States. In recent years, there has been speculation that the community might be sold to a private developer and converted into condominiums.Starrett City, (now called Spring Creek Towers), will be put up for sale this week, but potential buyers will receive a memorandum of understanding stipulating that the federal 20-year rent subsidy program known as Section 8 will cover most of the apartments. On 40 percent of all apartments, the new owner would be able to charge rents based on an analysis of the rental market, at rates that would require approval by the city and the state.“This MOU demonstrates to the residents that all parties are working to maintain Starrett City as affordable housing,” HUD Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi said in a statement. “With all the speculation, rumor and headlines over the last couple of years, many residents understandably worry about the future of Starrett City. So they should know that we are committed to Starrett City. This MOU makes that manifest.”The MOU provides the framework to ensure that Starrett City remains a much needed affordable housing resource for the City of New York on a long-term basis. “Families with lower or middle incomes, elderly residents, and residents confronting a disability will not be priced out or told to move on,” he added. “As an advocate for the preservation of multifamily affordable housing, the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) welcomes the news that Starrett City will remain affordable for generations to come.” Kris Cook, CAE, executive director of NHMA, tells MHN.