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September 1, 2006

AY Phase I: 83% luxury housing and 40 low-income rentals a year

Atlantic Yards Report

Just how many "affordable" or "low-income" housing units are planned for the first phase of the Atlantic Yards project?

At last week's hearing, Assemblymember Jim Brennan cautioned that the affordable housing was not planned until the second phase of the project. Developer Forest City Ratner, and its affordable housing partner, ACORN, have refused to offer specifics.

Atlantic Yards Report digs up projections from the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and learns that Phase I housing proposes:

That makes for nearly 83% luxury, market-rate units. If you add the 162 moderate- to high-income rentals, which would easily rent for more than $2000 a unit for a four-person family, that makes 2108 units, or nearly 90% of 2350 total units.

It provides strong evidence that, as Brennan and others have suggested, the financial success of the project as a whole--and the provision of most of the affordable housing--depends on the success of the market-rate units. Moreover, should the housing market change, Phase II--with most of the affordable units--could be delayed.

AYR compares the Atlantic Yards affordable housing plan with the Williamsburg/Greenpoint affordable housing incentives:

Atlantic Yards proponents say it's also important as a model. But the project build pattern would diverge from that established in the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning last year. For the latter rezoning, negotiated by the City Council, Affordable units used to earn the [inclusionary zoning] bonus must be created no later than the development receiving the bonus.

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Gowanus Lounge comments on AYR's post:

The entire picture is far, far bleaker overall for those who think Atlantic Yards will produce affordable housing for low-income Brooklynites. So, no problem if you are comfortable with affordable housing by 2016 in a phase of the project that is the most speculative. But, if you were thinking that there would be significant affordable housing as part of the mix by 2010, think again. Mr. Oder's full analysis is absolutely worth a read in its entirety.

Posted by lumi at September 1, 2006 9:45 AM