Most of the multifamily, residential buildings found in large cities are either co-ops or condos, and most are run the way co-ops and condos across the country are run. But if you dig a little deeper in here in New York City, you’ll find that there are a variety of multifamily housing models. Some of these buildings are government-subsidized, some are are combinations of traditional co-op and condo units, and most are limited equity to preserve lower-cost housing stock. Nearly all of them have been developed to help residents find a way into vested ownership that better fits their financial picture.
Different Models, Similar Goals
These alternative buildings have different systems of organization and management, and face unique challenges, though their purpose is essentially the same. The three most common types are:
Mitchell-Lama buildings: Signed into law by New York State Senator MacNeil Mitchell, (R-Manhattan) and Brooklyn Assemblyman Alfred Lama in 1955 as The Limited-Profit Housing Companies Act, the Mitchell-Lama program provides affordable rental and cooperative housing to moderate- and middle-income families. In New York City, there are 97 city-sponsored moderate- and middle-income rental and limited-equity cooperative developments, totaling over 44,500 units in all.
HDFC co-ops: Housing Development Fund Companies are limited equity co-ops, incorporated under Article XI of the New York State Private Housing Finance Law, which allows the city to sell buildings directly to tenant or community groups, thus keeping the cost down. Many HDFCs were created through the co-op conversion of a foreclosed, city-owned property. As of 2008, over 1,000 HDFC cooperatives have been developed in the city.
TIL Buildings: One of the largest housing related contracts in the city is the Tenant Interim Lease program (TIL), which assists organized tenant associations in city-owned buildings to turning their buildings into co-ops where units sell for approximately $250 a unit. Run by the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), the TIL program has so far converted more than 1,700 buildings.