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Housing Chief Rejects Second Attempt To Buy Starrett City

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The state's housing chief rejected Clipper Equities' second attempt to buy Starrett City in Brooklyn.

The Housing Commissioner Deborah Van Amerongen says her office rejected the developer's proposal Saturday, saying it does not protect the residents.

The original $1.3 billion plan to purchase Starrett City came under fire from advocates concerned over losing affordable housing in the neighborhood.

The commissioner says her agency believes Clipper wants to obtain market rates for almost 6,000 apartments, meaning rents would also go up for the subsidized housing.

Last month, federal officials rejected the deal over fears the new owners would not be able to keep the complex affordable.

ACORN Executive Director Bertha Lewis. “It's bad for the neighborhood. It's bad for tenants, and it's just bad for New York."

Clipper picked up some big-name support in the past few weeks with the Reverends Calvin Butts and A.R. Bernard -- whose church is right across from the complex -- lobbying for the sale in Washington.

Clipper is vowing to keep up the fight, as the company released a statement saying "Clipper Equity is in this to stay. Our proposal is a work in progress. The centerpiece is affordability. We are confident that we can and will maintain affordability for current and future tenants."

But according to ACORN's Bertha Lewis, this is a battle Clipper will not win.

"The deal should be stopped totally and they can keep trying and trying and trying no matter what, even though we know they will fail," she said.

Residents say that it's not just the affordable housing that makes Starrett City attractive. They say it's a diverse community and a safe place to live.

"It’s clean it's quiet and they answer your problems quickly,” said resident Charisma Preston. “It's good for the children; they have a lot of activities for the children.”

And most residents NY1 spoke with do not want Clipper, or any other company, having anything to do with their red brick Camelot.

"I want this to be preserved as is for future generations," said another Starrett resident.
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