Last week, residents of the St. James Towers in Clinton Hill had to decide between keeping the building in the city’s Mitchell-Lama affordable housing program or to allow for privatization, following in the footsteps of co-ops like the Financial District’s Southbridge Towers.
The possibility of turning 326 affordable units market-rate divided residents and garnered the attention of politicians, but after a vote last week, the majority have decided to keep St. James Towers affordable, reports the Brooklyn Paper. That move will ensure affordability for future residents; privatization, meanwhile, would have allowed current residents to make bank should they decide to sell their below-market rate apartments.
Though the city cannot interfere with the voting outcome, local officials did their best to influence apartment owners to say no to privatization. At a rally, Public Advocate Letitia James urged people to “be concerned about the next generation as opposed to [their] own pocketbooks.”