Tasha Williams has heard horror stories about people who were forced out of their homes, unable to pay the rising rent as gentrification spread through upper Manhattan. The 37-year-old mother of three has worried about where she’d go, should she be faced with an unaffordable increase. “I love this building, and I wouldn’t want to leave,” said the hospital worker, who has lived in Harlem Canaan House for 22 years. “I live paycheck to paycheck as it is.” Williams and hundreds of other tenants won’t have to worry, now that the nonprofit that runs their building secured a $40 million package to keep it affordable for 30 more years. Hope Community, which runs the 147-unit Mitchell-Lama building, worked with Carthage Real Estate Advisors to refinance the W. 118th St. complex, officials said. “We’re able to give (tenants) a sense of permanency,” said Hope Community executive director Walter Roberts.
Carthage utilized the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program along with tax-exempt bonds and low-income housing tax credits to secure the deal. The 21-story building will undergo a $10 million renovation, including several energy-efficient upgrades. The move comes as many affordable apartment buildings in Harlem, and other parts of the city, have slowly been switched to market-rate. “Several Mitchell Lama-buildings nearby Canaan House have lost their affordability,” Roberts said. “Tenants have been displaced, rents have risen dramatically and the surrounding community has been disrupted,” he said. As of 2013, more than one-third of the 269 properties under the Mitchell-Lama program were no longer on the rolls, according to the state Homes and Community Renewal agency.
From New York Daily News Article