Congressman Nadler Praises Unprecedented Agreement to Preserve Local Housing

Apr 25, 2001 Issues: Housing

NEW YORK – Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today expressed his relief and support for a move which will protect a large number of affordable housing units in the Manhattan part of his district.  Rep. Nadler and his staff previously worked to support such an agreement.

French Apartments' (330 West 30 St.) Section 8 contract with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was to expire on April 28, 2001. The owners, Related Management Co., had made known through a letter to tenants a year ago that it was its intention not to continue in the program and that it would raise rents to market rate. After intense negotiations with HUD, the management agreed to enter the "mark-up-to-market" program. Under that program, HUD does market surveys of rents and comes up with a rent an apartment would get on the open market. HUD then pays the difference between that amount and the 30% of income tenants are required to pay.   174 units are covered (161 completely) under this agreement.  It is an unprecedented 20-year agreement.  Most agreements of this kind have been within a 5 to 10 year range.

Both Rep. Nadler and tenant leaders praised the move.

“Both Related Management Co. and HUD deserve a lot of credit for hammering out this agreement, and the tenants are to be commended for all their hard work to make this happen” said Rep. Nadler.  “The Section 8 program is absolutely essential to maintain affordable housing in an increasingly expensive market, and I am pleased to see all the parties involved realize its importance.  I will continue to fight for this program in Congress, as I have done throughout my time at the Capitol.”

“French Apartment’s victory proves the worth of tenant organizing.  The fact that the opt-out was stopped is due to the tenants initiative and hard work in bringing together the community, elected officials, the owner and HUD.” said Organizing Director Michelle Bonan.  “The perfect ending to the tenants campaign is that their building is preserved for 20 years.”

“Tenants and Neighbors is encouraged to see tenants fighting for themselves and winning the struggle to protect their homes,” said Daphne Zubieta, an organizer working with French Apartments.  “Their efforts are crucial in preserving affordable housing, one building at a time.”

“We have a wonderful community and a strong tenant association.  But without the support of Tenants & Neighbors and our elected officials, we might not have had the opportunity to celebrate the preservation of our homes,” said French Apartments tenant leader Deanna Keller.

“For 361 days we lived the nightmare of losing our homes,” said French Apartments tenant leader Mona Martinez.  “Finally, we can rest easier knowing that our Section 8 contract is secure for 20 more years.”

Rep. Nadler has served in Congress since 1992.  He represents the 8th Congressional District of New York, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.