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Starrett City will stay under wing of Mitchell-Lama

July 2, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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New York State on Thursday announced an agreement with the owners of Starrett City, also known as Spring Creek Towers, to ensure that the 46-building, 5,881-apartment Mitchell-Lama housing community in Brooklyn remains affordable through 2069. 

The complex is the largest Mitchell-Lama rental development in New York City (Co-op City in the Bronx is the largest Mitchell-Lama co-op). For many years it was owned by Starrett City Associates, in which Donald Trump was a minority investor. In 2018, it was sold to Brooksville Company and Rockpoint Group.

The plan includes long-term protections for tenants and requires the owners to make approximately $140 million in upgrades and repairs. The agreement was made under the leadership of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, a division of state government.  

“This agreement will help ensure that the residents of one of the largest affordable housing communities in the country will reap both the short- and long-term benefits of having safe, modern, affordable homes,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “The COVID pandemic provided glaring insight into just how crucial affordable housing is — all New Yorkers deserve safe spaces for their families.”

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“Today’s agreement will not only preserve affordable housing for thousands of long-time middle-income New Yorkers at Starrett City in Brooklyn, it keeps a strong and much-loved community together for decades to come,” said Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

Through an agreement with Brooksville and Rockpoint, HCR required that any such refinancing agreement would need to achieve three goals: extend affordability for residents, invest in building infrastructure, and continue the cap on rent increases. All three of those goals were achieved in this agreement. 

Under the new financing agreement, HCR secured the following terms: 

  • Continues the cap on rent increases for non-Section 8 tenants. 
  • Requires owners to apply for an additional 15 years on Starrett City’s Section 8 contract with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, keeping the complex’s 3,569 apartments for low-income residents affordable through 2069. 
  • Extends affordability for the complex’s 2,312 non-Section 8 apartments for an additional 15 years (assuming the HUD contract for the Sec. 8 tenants and the New York City tax exemption for the development are extended). 
  • Requires owners to make an additional $140 million in capital improvements and repairs by 2030, bringing Starrett City’s total capital commitment to the property since 2018 to $280 million. 
  • Creates a $10 million social services fund for residents to provide access to support services that may include: educational, health and wellness, and job training programs. 
  • Creates a $10 million rent relief fund for residents facing financial hardship.   

Brooklyn’s State Sen. Roxanne Persaud said, “I applaud Starrett City/Spring Creek Towers’ residents on a refinancing plan that will give them peace of mind and a safe, affordable place to live now and into the future. We must do all we can to protect tenants and preserve Mitchell-Lama housing so that low-and middle-income families can thrive in our great city.”

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