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April 10, 2009

As AMI climbs, a significant slice of Atlantic Yards "affordable housing" seems to track market

Atlantic Yards Report

How much of the Atlantic Yards affordable housing would be, in the words of a July 2006 Daily News editorial, "real housing for the real Brooklyn"? Only about half.

The newspaper defined that cohort as those "on waiting lists for public housing and Section 8 vouchers." Those seeking Section 8 assistance must earn 50% or less of Area Median Income (AMI). Those seeking public housing can earn up to 80% of AMI. Currently, with the AMI $76,812, that means a four-person household could earn up to $61,540.

Noticing New York's Michael D. D. White recently broke it down, in a post pointing out that the rent for four-person households in the more expensive 900 "affordable" apartments--or 40% of the 2250 total subsidized units--would be $2304 and $2880.

That's at and above many market-rate units in the adjacent neighborhoods. Sure, there are two bedroom apartments that are more expensive, but they may be much larger or with luxury finishes. The Atlantic Yards affordable housing would be (nominally) designed by Frank Gehry, well-located near transit and subject to rent stabilization, but they almost certainly would not have luxury amenities, and they could be as small as 775 square feet.

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Posted by eric at April 10, 2009 9:59 AM