First occupied in 1955, the four building 372 unit Ridgewood Gardens Co-op, which sits atop the Maspeth Plateau, was among the first Mitchell-Lama developments to be built in New York City. The Ridgewood Gardens Co-op shareholders elected to withdraw from the Mitchell-Lama program in 1995.
Mitchell-Lama Back in 1955, when the flight to the suburbs was going full blast and many city neighborhoods were deteriorating from lack of money and municipal attention, the Mitchell-Lama bill, named after State Sen. McNeil Mitchell and New York Assemblyman Alfred Lama, was signed into law. The purpose of the program was to encourage the building of moderate-income housing, to keep more middle-class families within the state's cities, and to help stabilize city neighborhoods. And the program worked -- scores of Mitchell-Lama buildings (some 270 developments with nearly 140,000 apartments) were constructed throughout the 1950s, '60s and '70s, and provided housing for lower- and middle-income families. The projects developed under this program received real estate tax breaks and low interest loans and mortgages in return for keeping rents and purchase and resale prices far below market value for a period of time. After this period the co-op corporation could opt out of the program.