The Legislature finds and declares that within the next 20 years nearly 117,000 units of low-income housing subsidized by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development will be eligible for conversion to market rate housing. These subsidies include low-interest loan and mortgage insurance programs established pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (d) of Section 221 and Section 236 of the National Housing Act of 1934 (12 U.S.C. Secs. 1715 and 1715z-1), as amended, rental subsidy programs established pursuant to Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1437), as amended. In addition, the Farmer’s Home Administration
operates a low-interest loan program established pursuant to Section 515 of the National Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1485), as amended. Federal law allows owners to convert these units at certain intervals prior to the expiration of the contracts. Should the owners of the units be allowed to prepay the federally subsidized loans or fail to renew the Section rental subsidies, these units are in danger of becoming unaffordable to lower income tenants since the owners would no longer be obligated to charge below market rate rents to the tenants. Thus, it is anticipated that there will be an enormous loss of affordable decent, safe, and sanitary housing for lower income persons.
The Legislature further finds that it is of paramount importance that prior to an owner being allowed to convert a federally subsidized building, tenants and other interested persons and organizations have access to information concerning buildings eligible for conversion and access to
information concerning tenants’ rights and housing preservation alternatives when the conversion is imminent. The information and assistance can aid in the deterrence of conversion of the existing affordable housing stock. The Legislature finds that the provision of information, accessible to the citizenry of the state, would address this need.