Sale of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village
Stuy Town and Peter Cooper were built to provide affordable housing, and for more than fifty years, they have provided quality housing for middle class families. The news that they are being sold for upwards of $5 billion creates enormous uncertainty for residents. Given the high offering price, there is a strong likelihood that any purchaser will try to accelerate the transition to market rate housing or find other ways to earn a return on the investment. I have been deeply involved in the effort to retain affordable housing at Stuy Town and Peter Cooper. Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have traditionally fulfilled a need for high quality middle income housing. Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village span 80 acres and include 110 buildings, 11,250 apartments, and over 25,000 residents. Roughly 73% of the apartments are still regulated under New York State's rent regulation laws, making this area one of the largest pockets of affordable housing in mid-Manhattan.
There are just as many families desperate for affordable housing – including firefighters, police officers, nurses, letter carriers and other civil servants – as there were when the complexes were built. To maintain a vibrant and active middle class in the heart of Manhattan, it is essential to find a way to maintain affordable housing in this community. Maloney has rallied with residents and repeatedly called for the city, state and federal governments to work together to maintain affordable housing at Stuy Town and Peter Cooper.
Residents are concerned that a purchaser will be tempted to push existing rent regulated tenants out through conversions to co-ops or condos, demolition, new construction or accelerated luxury de-control. While rent stabilized tenants may be protected under current law, a purchaser will undoubtedly find ways to increase rents through MCIs and other mechanisms. Further, there will be increased incentive for harassment of tenants to encourage tenants in affordable units to move out. Finally, market rate tenants are concerned that they are facing huge rent increases, and are only being offered short term leases.