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Rockaway Co-op Probed for “Warehousing” Empty Apartments

Rockaway Beach

Mitchell-Lama Investigation

The Dayton Beach Park co-op at Rockaway Beach (image via Google Maps)

Nov. 16, 2016

As its shareholders ponder the pro's and con's of exiting the affordable Mitchell-Lama program and going to market-rate sales, the 1,147-unit Dayton Beach Park co-op on Rockaway Beach is being probed by the city’s Department of Investigation after residents complained about a stockpile of vacant apartments and lack of city oversight, DNAinfo reports.

Sources said the investigation is centered on two dozen vacant apartments at the five-building, federally subsidized, oceanfront complex. Allegations of warehousing apartments in Mitchell-Lama complexes is a longstanding complaint. In 2009, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli investigated similar complaints at Mitchell-Lama complexes across Manhattan. If Dayton Beach Park decides to go to market rate, the value of the empty apartments would rise sharply.

At about the time of DiNapoli’s investigation, Dayton Beach Park made news when it was learned that the co-op had fallen more than $1 million behind on its water bills. Such lapses have drawn the ire of shareholders over the department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD) oversight of the Mitchell-Lama program. "HPD's governing is horrible," said a Dayton Beach Park resident, who asked to remain anonymous. "Their oversight, they don't do anything."

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