City Council Passes Bill that Keeps Knickerbocker Village Affordable for 50 Years

Posted on: November 1st, 2019 at 5:08 am by

City Council passed a resolution Thursday afternoon that preserves affordable housing at Knickerbocker Village for the next fifty years.

The bill provides a property tax abatement that will help offset future rent hikes.

Years ago, management for the Two Bridges residential complex announced a rent hike of 13% to account for upgrades to the aging infrastructure. (Knickerbocker Village is an Article IV property, a state designation that ensures management uses a portion of tenants’ rent to reinvest into the property.)

Rent negotiations stalled.

Council member Margaret Chin subsequently joined with Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and Knickerbocker Village residents to draft the proposal to preserve all 1,590 units of affordable housing.

The deal trades an annual property tax abatement of $3 million for fifty years of affordability. The sum will aid in negotiations against unreasonably high rent increases, and allow hundreds of low-income tenants to remain in their homes. Currently, Knickerbocker Village pays $3.4 million in taxes.

A public hearing on the next rent increase for Knickerbocker tenants will be held by the DHCR in early November.

Guess this puts to bed those fears of condo/co-op conversion that seemed to surface periodically.

“In neighborhoods like Two Bridges, we have seen the cost of this crisis as rising rents, gentrification and a shrinking pool of affordable places to live threaten to fundamentally change the community and displace longtime residents,” said Chin. “By preserving all 1,590 housing units, this resolution will help to ensure Knickerbocker Village remains a home for working New Yorkers and seniors on fixed incomes.”

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