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June 22, 2009

How Forest City Ratner deceived the MTA and the public by not acknowledging the need for affordable housing bonds

Atlantic Yards Report

I wrote in June 2007 how the Empire State Development Corporation, while that Atlantic Yards project approached approval in December 2006, never revealed that some one-third of the project funding sources would $1.4 billion in scarce housing bonds issued (most likely) by the New York City Housing Development Corporation.

The figure was revealed to the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB), however, and later revealed, after the project was approved, in litigation over the AY environmental review.
...

There's no evidence that, before the project was approved, the ESDC considered the availability of sufficient housing bonds to construct the affordable housing.

Last December, I filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the ESDC to see if any documents indicated such deliberations. Each month, I get the same response: they're still looking for responsive documents.

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NoLandGrab: We know that this seems to be a nit-picky technicality. However, this little-known fact, which the State and developer Bruce Ratner are trying not to discuss, indicates that the financing of Atlantic Yards relies upon these scarce housing bonds, rendering suspect the overall viability of the project and all of the promised benefits.

Posted by lumi at June 22, 2009 6:16 AM