« Kings County Democratic Party, Developers and Corruption | Main | After “Race” Battle, Dan Goldstein Charges On »

July 12, 2006

AY affordable housing session coverage

Yesterday's Atlantic Yards Affordable Housing Informational Session drew headlines from all the local dailies. Here's the coverage:

NY Daily News, B'klyn Yards pitch finds few bargains
The News is the first paper to report an actual number for those bizarre 12-page brochures:

Ratner sent out flyers about Atlantic Yards to 600,000 Brooklyn residents in May and nearly 20,000 people responded.

NoLandGrab: That means Ratner has spent over a million dollars on the direct mail campaign strategy.

The article highlights the reaction to the fact that "the 2,250 subsidized units won't be available for years - and there's a lottery to see who gets a place."

Not much here — a mere two-paragraph brief on the session.

NY Sun, Queue Forms For Housing In Brooklyn
The session made the front page of the conservative NY Sun. The article notes, " The presentation is timed to coincide with the state’s pending release of the draft environmental impact statement, which would commence a public comment period."

This tag line for the Forest City Ratner affordable housing marketing campaign emerged last night:

“If an elevator works for the rich folks, it is going to work for the poor folks,” Mr. Stuckey of Forest City Ratner said. “Everyone has equal views.”

The NY Times, Promises of Atlantic Yards Draw Thousands to Meeting

All of the articles (including the Post's) provided details on the different tiers (or "bands") of the affordable housing. The Times went as far as to provide this bit of analysis based upon the reaction of the attendees:

In the lowest income tier, a family of four making $21,270 to $28,360 a year would pay $620 a month in rent; in the highest, a family making $99,261 to $113,440 would pay $2,658 a month. About 225 units are set aside for families of all sizes in the lowest income tier, and 450 for families of all sizes in the highest tier.

Vilia Salas, 44, a bookkeeper, said she supported the project. Her only concern, she said, is that not enough units will go to “people who are really entitled to them.”

Some attendees of last night’s event, while expressing enthusiasm for the project’s hope of new housing in a borough that needs it, wondered whether the moderately priced housing was priced quite moderately enough.

So far, the only report in the blogosphere comes from Norman Oder at Atlantic Yards Report: Stuckey, Lewis face restive, skeptical crowd at AY housing session
Again the affordable housing campaign tag line was repeated, this time by Bertha Lewis:

“If the elevator works for them, the elevator’s gotta work for you."

Oder deems the tag line "a worthy point," since "many other affordable housing programs are relegated to separate buildings or other neighborhoods."

Oder's report provides the charts with the different income "bands," and points out that the income levels have increased since the program was first announced.

Stuckey explained how this program actually is an improvement over many current affordable housing programs. About half of the affordable units will be two- and three-bedroom units, thus accommodating families. “We’re talking about teachers, bus drivers, cops, civil servants,” he said.

A sticking point for many in attendance was the need for affordable housing for middle-income, which opened the door for Oder to point out that the middle-income affordable housing program is pretty much the same as market-rate housing:

Lewis cited the importance of affordable housing for the middle-class. She had a point, but some in the crowd didn't welcome it. Then again, Lewis pushed the envelope, claiming of the middle-class, “These people they’re paying a minimum of $2500 up to $4000.” Not so. A quick web search shows a good number of two-bedroom apartments in neighborhoods reasonably close to the project site—admittedly, not new Frank Gehry buildings—for under $2500.

Posted by lumi at July 12, 2006 7:45 AM