PROTECTING AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN QUEENS
ASTORIA, QUEENS: At a special meeting of the Marine Terrace Tenants Association tonight, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (Queens, Manhattan) announced recent actions to protect tenants from losing their homes through renewal of their expiring Section 8 housing contract.
As part of her continued efforts to maintain affordable housing, Maloney recently wrote to the Secretary's Representative for the New York Region of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and contacted representatives from Marine Terrace Associates, the building owners. Based on this correspondence, Congresswoman Maloney explained to tenants tonight, "The owners have completed the required study of area rental rates which is a critical step toward renewing the housing contract with HUD. Additionally, HUD Secretary's Representative Charlie King has expressed strong confidence that an agreement would be reached quickly and he has agreed to move forward with negotiations swiftly and diligently."
Maloney said of the positive news, "Renewal of this contract is well underway and I am pleased that both Marine Terrace Associates and HUD have committed to a fast process in reaching an agreement."
Residents of the Marine Terrace housing development in Astoria, Queens have been in danger of losing their homes since the development's management announced plans last Spring to opt-out of a Section 8 affordable housing contract with the HUD in April 2001, when their original contract is set to expire. Maloney, who has written on other occasions in recent months to both Andrew Cuomo, the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and to Marine Terrace Associates, the owners of the development, said, "HUD's encouraging response and the recent actions by Marine Terrace Associates to complete their rental study for the area are signs that a renewed contract is moving forward quickly and this is great news for tenants."
Additionally, Maloney reported that HUD's 2001 budget, approved by Congress and enacted into law, is the largest investment in affordable housing made by the federal government since 1981 and a 16 percent increase over fiscal year 2000. Maloney said, "The HUD Budget for fiscal year 2001 represents a major victory for low and middle-income households with $32.4 billion in program funding, an increase of 4.2 billion from last year."