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December 20, 2006

More from the Brodsky hearing: $1B in housing bonds, housing MOUs coming

Atlantic Yards Report

More questions about the Atlantic Yards project were raised at and after the hearing Monday held by Democratic Assemblymember Richard Brodsky, whose committee oversees public authorities.

For the first time, however, officials acknowledged that $1 billion in tax-exempt bonds would be issued to support the housing component. They also said that Memoranda of Understanding with developer Forest City Ratner regarding the housing were still being negotiated, but that the fiscal aspects of the project were ready to go before the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) today.

Also, Empire State Development Corporation’s (ESDC) Chairman Charles Gargano said that developer Forest City Ratner would earn a “reasonable” rate of return, even as the potential return to the public had just plummeted by about a third.

As reported, Brodsky found the ESDC unwilling to provide full disclosure about the project, notably a project financial analysis commissioned by the firm KPMG.

Though no one is saying exactly how much tax-exempt financing is being made available, one estimate put the number at well over $1 billion:

On Monday, Michelle de la Uz of the Fifth Avenue Committee, a housing group in Brooklyn that has called for a delay in the PACB vote, suggested that the city’s Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is contemplating the issue of $1.9 billion in bonds, basing her estimate on preliminary documents released by HDC.

To put it in perspective, she said, this year HDC issued $1.8 billion in bonds. Much more information is needed on the affordable housing finances, she said.

Read the rest of Norman Oder's article, which bears witness to Gargano squirming under questioning over affordable housing guarantees, financing, and diminishing taxpayer returns.

NoLandGrab: Here's the freakin' joke on the taxpayer...

Posted by lumi at December 20, 2006 7:47 AM