Northwest Bronx
for Change

Concerned Citizens for Change is a grassroots organization working to advance progressive issues at the city, state and federal levels.  

Affordable Housing

We believe that decent housing should be the right of every American. That is not the case now and homelessness is growing. Making decent housing a right is complicated and any solution to homelessness will have may moving parts, but we believe it can be done. Here are a few pieces of an answer to this problem. ​​

Rent Regulated Housing

Rent Control
At the time of initiation of State rent control in 1950 about 2,500,000 units were under control statewide; about 85% in NYC.  By 1961, there were 1,800,000 units subject to rent control. Only NYC and 18 counties outside of NYC had rent controlled units.
Rent Stabilization
In 1962, the responsibility for administering rent control within NYC was trasnferred to the City, since the overwhelming majority of the controlled unites were located in NYC.    

The tightening of the rental housing market (vacancy rates in 1968 fell to 1.23%) led the City to enact the Rent Stabilization Law of 1969. Approximately 400,00 NYC apartments in buildings containing 6 or more units became covered. Of these, 325,000 were constructed after 2/1/1947. The Rent Stabilization Law provided for the establishment of the Rent Guidelines Board with power to establish levels of rent increases for renewal leases and new tenancies. It also created the Rent Stabilization Association (RSA) which all landlords had to join.
In 1971, soon after NYC extended rent stabilization to post-47 buildings, the State passed several laws designed to deregulate, over time, rent controlled and rent stabilized housing stock. In addition, the “Urstadt” Law, named after the State Housing Commissioner Charles Urstadt prohibited any municipality in the State from adopting new regulations that were more stringent than those that were presently in effect (and passed by the State Legislature).
Today approximately 1.2 million of NYS's 3.3. million rental housing are subject to rent regulation. This includes housing developed and built with government subsidies that mandate as a condition of receiving government funding that units are rent regulated and rented to households of a certain income range, usually 80% of area median.
Today the object of affordable housing advocates is to create stronger rent protections, repeal the Urstadt Law, so localities (i.e. NYC) have control over the rent laws in their cities; and preserve create permanent affordable housing.

See these links for further information and resources:

Mitchell-Lama Housing
Mitchell-Lama program was sponsored by NYS Senator MacNeil Mitchell(R) and Assemblyman Alfred Lama (D). The ML Program was signed into law in 1955. The program's public stated purpose was the development and building of affordable housing, both rental and cooperatively owned, for middle income residents. Under the program, local jurisdictions acquired land by eminent domain and provided it to developers to develop housing for low and middle income tenants/cooperators. Developers received tax abatemens as long as they remained in the program and low interest mortgages subsidized by federal, state, and NYC government. They were also guaranteed a 6% later 7.5% return on investment each year they were in the program. The law required developers/landlords to remain in the program a minimum of 20 years; anytime thereafter they can exit the program and pre-pay their mortgage. A total of 269 developments with over 105,000 apartments were built. Between 1990 and 2005, ML housing lost 34% of its stock. That pace has increased with the real estate market for rental buildings and for cooperatives as areas gentrify.
Those MLs built before 1974 when they exited the program fell under rent stabilization law,.  Those built and occupied after 1974 rents were raised without restrictions unless the developer had federally subsidized 236 mortgages and tenants qualified for the “enhanced” sticky voucher. Also many working with legal counsel negotiated landlord assistance plans (LAPs) to implement slower rent increases.
Some NYS politicians have propsoed legislation to put all exiting MLs regardless of when built under rent stabilization. Other proposed bills ask for a three year moratorium on buyouts/privatizations; and still others propose creating a new Mitchell-Lama program.
Tenant and advocacy groups have banded together to work to elect pro-tenant legislators in the NYS legislature, so that these current one-house bills finally pass before it it too late!
See the following links for further information:


Tenants PAC
Met Council
Tenants And Neighbors
Legal Aid
Cooperators United
Urban Homesteading
Tenants PAC