What L+M Agreed to Ahead of Knickerbocker Village Sale

Posted on: March 24th, 2022 at 5:06 am by

Photo: Karlin Chan

This week, a group of concerned residents in Knickerbocker Village initiated a press action to stymie the potential sale of the housing complex to L+M Development Partners.

The group, calling themselves Concerned Tenants of Knickerbocker Village, fears that L+M, if successful in the purchase, will try to displace low-income tenants in favor of wealthier renters; and allege that the sale will undermine rent protections under Knickerbocker’s Article IV protection.

Behind the scenes, however, the Knickerbocker Village Tenants Association had been negotiating with the developer for the last year, and finally reached a memorandum of understanding in February.

Here are some of the agreed-upon details from negotiations between the tenants association and the developer.

  • In accordance with the signed MOU, 100% of the units will remain permanently affordable rentals under HCR supervision under Article IV in perpetuity;
  • Residents will no longer be subject to unpredictable rent increases. Rent for existing residents will be frozen for 3 years and a maximum rent increase cap of 2.5% will be effective thereafter. Rent has increased on average 3.1% each year over the last 20 years;
  • New residents will be subject to a range of low- and moderate-income restrictions with an average affordable rent of 80% of area median income;
  • L+M will invest $50 million for critical repairs such as the roof, plumbing, and facade without additional rent increases for residents. Future work will not increase resident rent;
  • L+M will address handicap accessibility on the Monroe Street entrance and activate the playground/courtyard open space;
  • Secured 397 project-based rent vouchers from HUD for eligible residents to reduce rents for the lowest income residents of Knickerbocker Village.

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