State Senate Candidate: Turn Empty Luxury Apartments Into Middle-Income Housing

annalewis State Senate Candidate: Turn Empty Luxury Apartments Into Middle Income HousingUpper West Side State Senate candidate Anna Lewis—who’s running in a five-way race to succeed would-be Attorney General Eric Schneiderman—has a housing proposal that she thinks could help both middle-income tenants and landlords: revive, at least in spirit, the Mitchell-Lama program.

Ms. Lewis, who is on the board of the Mitchell-Lama Residents Coalition, said there are virtually empty luxury apartment buildings “scattered throughout her district” that could be converted into middle-income housing for those who can ill afford Manhattan’s sky-high rents.

What would developers get out of it?

Tax abatements, and a steady rental income.

“I’m talking about buildings built as luxury condos, which they couldn’t sell as luxury condos, so they tried to rent them as luxury rentals,” Ms. Lewis said, though she declined to name any specific buildings. (This has been proposed before).

“I think this is the pefect time to build affordable housing, because it will give people jobs, it will give people places to live,” she said. “You don’t build affordable housing when there’s a great economy.”

Still awaiting comment from REBNY.