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August 25, 2007

Who's paying for the affordable housing? New Domino-watchers want to know

Atlantic Yards Report

If one of the lessons of the Atlantic Yards project for developers--like those of the New Domino project proposed in Williamsburg--is that they should hook up with affordable housing advocates to override zoning (or achieve a rezoning), a lesson for critics is that they should follow the money.

After all, Atlantic Yards has been touted as "providing" affordable housing without any reference to the public funds behind the units or any analysis of whether they represent a good bang for the buck.
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There's no guarantee those questions will be answered. Last year, the MAS, in comments filed after the Atlantic Yards Final Environmental Impact Statement was issued, asked:
In order to accurately assess whether the Atlantic Yards proposal will result in a net gain of affordable housing units, there needs to be an accounting of the public expenditures on this project versus the total amount of public subsidies available in the same fiscal year so that decision makers can accurately assess the public costs versus the public benefits. What percentage of the city’s total funds for housing will be required to build the project’s 2250 units?

In response, the Empire State Development Corporation offered only generalities. (Only after the project was approved did details emerge.) Will DCP be more forthcoming? The EIS will be written by the same environmental consulting firm, the ubiquitous AKRF.

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Posted by amy at August 25, 2007 11:19 AM