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February 17, 2009

Jeffries: no stimulus funds for railyard, but maybe for affordable housing

Atlantic Yards Report

Pinning down Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries is like trying to catch a shadow.

If City Council Member Letitia James, a staunch opponent of Atlantic Yards, opposes the use of federal stimulus funds for the project, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who's more on the fence, thinks money might be spent on housing--but not a new railyard.

"I’m unconvinced that the railyards are the appropriate place for the money to be spent," Jeffries said yesterday after I asked whether federal money should relieve developer Forest City Ratner of a previous obligation.

"It’s clear to me that a much stronger case could be made to spend stimulus money on affordable housing," given that it responds to "a permanent need."

I had queried him to amplify some quotes in an article in this week's Courier-Life chain, which could have left the impression that he supported stimulus money for a new Vanderbilt Yard as long as Phase 1 of the project contained affordable housing.

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NoLandGrab: Jeffries allegedly opposes the use of eminent domain to build an arena, too, but that opposition sure doesn't sound absolute — or a matter of conscience.

Posted by eric at February 17, 2009 7:29 AM