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Courtesy of Pheffer Amato's office
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato speaking on behalf of Rockaway Mitchell-Lama families at a 2019 rally.

Speaker Carl Heastie appointed Rockaway Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato to a newly formed Mitchell-Lama housing work group.

The panel, which will be led by Housing Committee chair Steven Cymbrowitz, will identify and propose solutions on the most pressing issues affecting limited profit housing companies, known and referred to as Mitchell-Lama housing developments.

“I am grateful to Speaker Heastie and Assemblyman Cymbrowitz for organizing this vital working group to protect the middle-income families who rely on Mitchell-Lama Housing to survive,” Pheffer Amato said. “As a state, we must work to ensure that all regulations are being enforced, both in the city and across New York State, in order to protect safety and quality of life.”

The Mitchell-Lama program, which began in 1955, provides affordable rental and cooperative housing to moderate-and middle-income families. There are both city- and state-supervised Mitchell-Lama developments, totalling more than 110,000 units.

While some are operated as rentals, most are operated by resident-owned cooperatives, with a board of directors elected by shareholders responsible for policy and financial decisions.

In recent years, the Assembly majority has helped secure more than $270 million to support and retain Mitchell-Lamas, and led the fight to enact critical Mitchell-Lama legislation in 2019. New calls for greater standardization and transparency in application processing, require increased agency reporting on developments leaving the program, allow residents to access financial records relating to their development and expand the pool of applicants eligible for Mitchell-Lama housing by raising admission income limits.

“Within my district alone there are over 2,800 units of resident-owned Mitchell-Lama cooperatives and for years my office has been inundated with thousands of complaints and concerns relating to this housing,” Pheffer Amato said. “When the people speak, it is our job as elected officials to listen. I am excited to begin working on the complex issues and concerns surrounding these developments in order to ensure quality of life for everyone.”

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