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April 30, 2010

Schumer Says Atlantic Yards Area Is Not Blighted. Doesn’t See AY As A Ratner Mega-Monopoly, But Could His Support Wane?

Noticing New York

Michael D.D. White recounts a conversation with Chuck Schumer, and wonders if the Senator's support for Atlantic Yards isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Among other things, we discussed whether the no-bid Atlantic Yards effectively leverages the housing subsidies it is getting. Supplying the Senator with documentation that Atlantic Yards is not leveraging its housing subsides effectively could conceivably get the Senator to withdraw his support for the project if it is provided in a manner so as to be sufficiently incontrovertible. Such documentation, however, is already available and we are not overly sanguine about politicians, Schumer included, paying attention to facts over politics and campaign contributions when it comes to Atlantic Yards.
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So might Senator Schumer further reconsider his support of the mega-project? (In fact, is there maybe even an indication of the possibility of ebbing support when he uses the phrase “not as much” saying: "The reason I supported it, and it’s still part of it, not as much but still, is affordable housing.") If there is no “blight” as he assures us he knows there isn’t, then it’s illegal. And as for the inappropriate use of housing subsidy, surely our calculations that there is approximately $638.67 million in housing subsidies involved should convince him that the amount is substantial. Our review of what Ms. Bertha Lewis of ACORN “negotiated” should convince him that the community is really getting virtually nothing in terms of true affordable housing. And the testimony of urban planner Ron Shiffman and Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director of the Fifth Avenue Committee, ought to convince that the subsidies can be far better used and leveraged elsewhere.

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NoLandGrab: Schumer's recent Harry Reid fundraiser, hosted by none other than the Devil himself, would indicate otherwise. Plus, at this point, does Schumer's support — or lack of it — really matter?

Posted by eric at April 30, 2010 12:50 PM