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October 4, 2006

Atlantic Yards "Affordable Housing" Report

Atlantic Yards Report examines the Forest City Ratner "Affordable Housing" brochure mailed out last week, and the latest news on NY City's 421-a tax break for new housing constrution.

LiarFlyer05a.jpgAY flier touts 137.5 affordable units a year (and 15-story buildings)

First, let's note that Forest City Ratner finally did show the public some towers, unlike in the brochure distributed in May. However, the towers here only go about 15 stories tall. However, only one of the 16 buildings planned would be under 200 feet, at 184 feet.

Second, the flier requires footnotes. The statement that "50% of the rental units will be set aside for middle- and low-income families" papers over the actual affordability of the units.

Actually, only 900 (40%) of 2250 affordable rentals would go to families with an annual household income of $35,450 or lower. And 900 of the affordable rentals would rent for more than $2000 a month.

Looming: 421-a reform and thousands of affordable units

reform of the 421-a program is looming. Yesterday elected officials and advocates held a press conference arguing that 421-a subsidizes gentrification.

The New York Observer quoted East Harlem council member Melissa Mark Viverito: "We are taking tax dollars from working families in East Harlem and using that money to subsidize the construction of luxury condominiums across the street from them selling for over $1 million. Essentially, we are asking people from El Barrio to pay to price themselves out of their own community."

Posted by lumi at October 4, 2006 8:15 AM