Tracie Hunte is an assistant producer at WNYC and now a proud owner of a 600 square foot apartment in Cadman Towers. She tells the story of how she got the apartment for $38K:
WNYC: Back in 2010, I landed on the wait list for an apartment in Cadman Towers, a Mitchell-Lama co-op in Brooklyn Heights that opened in 1971. About three years later, my name came up and I was able to buy a 600-square-foot one bedroom with a balcony for a little more than $38,000. It was probably the only way I – a single, 32-year-old, public radio employee – was ever going to achieve the American dream in New York City.
The Mitchell-Lama program was created in 1955 with the goal of providing housing options for middle income residents. In New York City, 174 rental and co-op buildings were created under the program. (You can find a list of open wait lists here.) After a certain number of years, building owners can leave the program and make their units market rate. So far, 96 have done just that. It’s an outcome that’s alarming to some housing advocates.