FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, July 19, 2017
CONTACT: Krista Beaubrun (917) 817-1824, KBeaubrun@council.nyc.gov
CUMBO, HPD, ELECTEDS SECURE 30-YEAR RENT STABILIZATION AGREEMENT, CREATING NEARLY 600 AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS IN CROWN HEIGHTS
BROOKLYN, NY —New York City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo was joined by Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, city and state elected officials to announce an agreement between the City of New York and Alma Realty to create nearly 600 affordable apartments at the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital Apartment Complex in Crown Heights.
After three years of advocacy and negotiations, spearheaded by Council Member Cumbo and Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley in partnership with HPD, five of the six buildings within the Complex – namely 480 and 500 St. Marks Place as well as 523, 545, and 565 Park Place are now under a thirty-year rent regulatory obligation with HPD. The final building located at 713 Classon Avenue is currently being refinanced and is anticipated to fall under the same agreement.
"In communities across my district and throughout Brooklyn, we have seen the devastating impact of gentrification - displacing everyday New Yorkers from the only communities that they have ever known. I am proud that in partnership with HPD and Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley, I was able to secure a 30-year agreement after three years of negotiations to ensure the affordability of nearly 600 units at the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital Complex for current residents and future generations. This victory is indicative of what can happen when elected officials, labor unions, tenant associations, community stakeholders and advocates work together as a united front. Gentrification cannot take root when we work together as a community,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.
“HPD is looking to seize every opportunity to safeguard the affordability of our city’s neighborhoods,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “Thanks to our partnership with Alma Realty and Councilmember Cumbo, the 470 residents of these five buildings at the former Brooklyn Jewish Hospital site today have rent-regulated leases for the first time. And the site’s remaining residents will soon enjoy the same protections. Already under Housing New York, the City has secured the affordability of 52,309 affordable apartments, and we will continue to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to create and preserve the affordable housing that New Yorkers need and deserve here in Crown Heights and around the City. I want to thank Alma Realty, Councilmember Cumbo, Borough President Adams, Assemblyman Mosley, and all our elected officials for their commitment to getting this deal across the finish line.”
As per the agreement, Alma Realty must register the units as rent-stabilized with the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) within thirty days. Once completed, current residents will be protected under the rent stabilization laws regardless of their lease status and subject to annual rent increases determined by the Rent Guidelines Board.
“I am thrilled that after years of community outreach and negotiations between me, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, Housing Preservation and Development and Alma Realty, we are finally seeing real benefits for the people who live in Brooklyn Jewish Housing Complex. We were able to bring the Brooklyn Jewish Housing Complex back into rent stabilization, ensuring that close to 600 units will remain affordable, giving peace of mind to tenants, and provide housing opportunities for future generations. This is a victory for our community and I am proud to have been a part of it,” said Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley.
"Maintaining the affordability for 600 apartments is no small victory. I am overjoyed that we have finally reached a resolution for the residents of the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital Complex and I must thank my Councilmember, Laurie Cumbo for taking the lead on these negotiations and bringing the rest of the City Council on board. What we have accomplished here is a testament to the impact of people power and I hope that New Yorkers across the city are paying attention because this would have been impossible without tenants who were highly organized, dedicated and empowered," said Senator Velmanette Montgomery.
“Our city is experiencing a crisis in affordable housing, and nowhere is this crisis more acute than in Brooklyn,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “After years of advocacy, the residents of this neighborhood will finally get the affordable housing that they were promised and that they desperately need. I want to thank Council Member Laurie Cumbo and Assemblymember Walter Mosley for leading the fight to ensure that all New Yorkers can continue to live in the neighborhoods that they have long called home.”
Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said: "Ensuring the affordability of hundreds of apartments in the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital Complex is a major victory for this community. This agreement was years in the making and would not have happened without the hard work of an engaged, dedicated group of tenants who were willing to fight for their homes. Brooklyn is facing an affordability crisis that is rapidly mounting, and creating and preserving affordable housing is more important than ever before. Today's announcement is a step in the right direction for this neighborhood and for Brooklyn."
“Alma Realty has been working diligently to provide tenants at the former Brooklyn Jewish Hospital complex in Prospect Heights with a 30-year rent regulatory agreement. Those agreements are now complete and in place for five of the six buildings in the complex. The agreement for the remaining building, 713 Classon Avenue, should be finalized within 90 days or sooner. Alma is proud to furnish our tenants in all six buildings with the benefits of stabilized lease and rate renewals,” said Nicholas Conway of Alma Realty Corp. “We are very pleased to have been able to come to this agreement, which provides high-quality affordable housing for thousands of New Yorkers and furthers our commitment to continue expanding and improving the city’s stock of affordable housing. As we have done previously, we invested in the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital complex after the hospital moved into newer facilities, creating a new, modern state-of-the-art residential development that is affordable. I want to thank City Council Member Cumbo, Public Advocate James, Assembly Member Mosley and all the other elected officials who have collaborated with us to achieve this landmark result for the residents.”