Why is the Tenants Association (the “TA”) spending so much time and energy on a conversion of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village to condo? Is the TA continuing to fight for affordable rental housing?
The primary goal of our drive for a non-eviction conversion plan is precisely to preserve affordable housing in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. Through a conversion, we can implement mechanisms through which we can preserve affordability for both residents who choose to own and those who prefer to remain as rent stabilized tenants.
When faced with the possibility that a new owner would again seek to quickly transition our middle income complex to a luxury community, as previous owners have done, the TA — with guidance from our legal and financial advisers — concluded that the way to preserve affordability in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village is for tenants to take an active role in defining the future of the property. That is why we selected Brookfield as our partner and are working collaboratively to develop a strategy to acquire control of the property and a condo conversion plan that is both viable and tenant-driven.
The TA-Brookfield partnership is developing a conversion plan that will create affordable ownership apartments and preserve the affordability of rentals. The plan will offer purchase options at different price tiers for tenants, including an option to purchase apartments at an “affordable price” representing a meaningful discount to market with the restriction that they be resold at an affordable price to a “middle income” buyer. With respect to rental units in particular, our plan is based on preserving the option for tenants to remain renters pursuant to prevailing rent stabilization law. In addition, the TA-Brookfield partnership plans to pursue strategies to add more permanent affordability protections for rental units than exist today.
The fight for affordable housing via rent regulations continues to be on the TA’s front burner. Following the successful drive last June to renew and improve rent stabilization for another four years, we were told by major Albany players that our TA’s well-planned, steady campaign aimed at Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders had significant influence on the outcome. When rent laws come up for renewal in four years, again, you can be certain that the TA will be in the forefront of the fight to renew and improve them.