NEW YORK — New York City’s public housing authority will pay rent on a building owned by the city’s rent control program, but the authority is not requiring the city to do so.
Agency spokesman David Siegel said in a statement that “a lease agreement” was signed by the rent control administrator, Richard S. Pomerantz, in December.
The rent was approved by the authority’s board of directors, which has the authority to negotiate with the renters, and is to go into effect on June 1, Siegel added.
He said the lease “will ensure that the tenant will be compensated in full for any shortfall caused by the sale of the building.”
The agency has agreed to pay the rent, Senguin said.
The agreement has not been finalized and is subject to review, he said.
The authority will not pay the full amount of rent due to the lease, according to Senguins statement.
Pomerantz said in the statement that the agreement “is not a condition of the sale, but will remain in effect.”
Pomeranz said the rent increase will not affect the occupancy rate of the housing, which is about 9.5 percent.
Pommerantz said he would meet with tenants who are facing eviction, and will offer them a lease with rent control if they want one.
The authority is also offering grants of up to $1,000 to landlords who offer housing to the public.
A number of housing advocates have been pressuring the authority not to sell the property.
The New York Association of Realtors has issued a report calling for the city not to let rent control be used as a tool to buy up properties, especially when they are occupied by tenants who need housing.
The association said the move would lead to “the demolition of thousands of public housing properties” in the city, and that “public housing has been decimated by the current crisis.”