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November 18, 2011

Forest City seems to be backing off its pledge to have 50% of affordable apartments be larger units. What will Bertha Lewis say?

Atlantic Yards Report

As I've noted, the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement (CBA, below) requires an Independent Compliance Monitor (ICM), who should have been reporting on the progress of the Pre-Apprentice Training Program, subject of a lawsuit filed this week.

Does the ICM enforce the housing pledge, part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between developer Forest City Ratner and ACORN? No, but there's need for oversight, because the developer seems to be changing the plan, providing more smaller apartments than pledged.

According to page 7 of the CBA, ACORN--or, now more likely, its successor New York Communities for Change--was supposed to "form and facilitate a Housing Council" for community input regarding those buildings.

...

It's not clear now who exactly is responsible, given ACORN's demise, but Bertha Lewis, the vocal leader of ACORN and backer of Atlantic Yards, has pledged publicly she would hold Forest City to its agreement.

So far, the signs suggest Lewis has a lot to ask about. Or, maybe she's been told: the CBA (p. 24) states that the developer "will not announce or agree to any material modifications in the 50-50 Program without the prior approval of ACORN."

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Posted by steve at November 18, 2011 3:43 PM