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August 10, 2010

Orwellian, almost: that first Atlantic Yards tower most likely would have most "affordable" units at market rate

Atlantic Yards Report

Remember, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) asserts that "Whatever the pace may be for the delivery of the many public benefits of the [Atlantic Yards] Project, the nature of those benefits remains the same."

I wrote yesterday that such a claim was poppycock--of course affordable housing and tax revenues arriving at a vastly slower schedule would make a difference.

Here's another reason why: the nature of those benefits, at least when it comes to the first subsidized housing units, would in fact change.

Remember, the Atlantic Yards affordable housing was sold to the public and supported by ACORN as a way to help the poor. Forest City Ratner attorney Jeffrey Braun swore in a 1/25/08 affidavit (p. 5) in a case challenging the Atlantic Yards environmental review:

“Furthermore, pursuant to an innovative Community Benefits Agreement, the FCRC affiliates that sponsor the project are contractually bound to provide a wide array of far-reaching benefits to the historically most disadvantaged segments of Brooklyn’s communities…”

(Emphasis added)

Not only is that claim contradicted by the fact that a majority of the subsidized units would be unaffordable to ACORN's constituency, it's quite likely that the first building would be even less affordable to that constituency.

In five of the six scenarios contemplated for the first housing tower, the monthly rent for most of the affordable apartments would range from $2287 to $3790, depending on household size. Those are the kind of unaffordable rents that ACORN members have cited in arguing for the project.


NoLandGrab: But hey, don't worry, 'cause as Bertha Lewis likes to say, those affordable units will be on the same floors as the market-rate units. You won't even be able to tell which are affordable and which are not!

The chickens have come home to roost, and they've knocked all the acorns off the tree.

Posted by eric at August 10, 2010 10:08 AM