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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Press Release # 06-07
Friday, March 2, 2007

Contact: Neill Coleman, 212-863-8076

Statement by Commissioner Donovan on HUD's Decision on Starrett City

"HUD Secretary Jackson's decision today is welcome news for the residents of Starrett City and the preservation of affordable housing in New York City. The attempted sale of Starrett City was a flawed process and it led to an unrealistic bid that threatened to put 5,881 units of affordable housing at risk. Starrett City's future is too important to be decided without full knowledge of the potential purchaser's finances, experience in managing affordable housing and plans for the future of the complex.

We made the HUD Secretary aware of our serious concerns about the nearly 9,000 outstanding housing maintenance code violations across 71 New York City buildings owned by a principal of the potential purchaser. We also cautioned that any large-scale new development at Starrett City would require City approval and would likely require unusually large government subsidies to be economically feasible, and that both of those things were unlikely to happen.  We would also be extremely concerned about any owner with a history of discriminating against Section 8 voucher holders acquiring Starrett City. We will continue to work with the federal and state governments to preserve Starrett City as an affordable Mitchell Lama complex. 

Preservation of existing affordable housing is a key component of Mayor Bloomberg's $7.5 billion New Housing Marketplace Plan, to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years, the largest municipal affordable housing plan in the nation's history. HUD has been a key partner in our preservation efforts through innovative initiatives like the Asset Control Area, 203k and multifamily Right of First Refusal.  Secretary Jackson's bold actions to save Starrett City are further evidence of HUD's strong commitment to preserving affordable housing in New York City."

Shaun Donovan
HPD Commissioner

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