Wednesday, November 02, 2005


"Affordable housing" and Crown Heights: rentals vs. condos

A 10/29/05 Brooklyn Papers article, headlined ‘Affordable’ units may go to Crown Hts, overstated the issue, and thus partly missed the point of Roger Green's suggestion during the ESDC hearing.

Green was responding to critics who say the Atlantic Yards project is too big and too dense. One way of reducing density would be to move some of the affordable housing offsite. That would mean moving some portion of the already pledged 2,250 rental units. However, that would make Atlantic Yards less diverse and contribute to the gentrification in Prospect Heights that ACORN head Bertha Lewis said this project would fight.

The Brooklyn Papers article stated:
Forest City Ratner is considering the acquision of the former St. Mary’s Hospital in Crown Heights, leading some to speculate that the 3-acre site could be used for the affordable housing component of the proposed Atlantic Yards mega-project.

It would be have more accurate to say that the site may be used for "some part of the affordable housing component."

Indeed, the Brooklyn Papers article focused on another aspect of the Housing Memorandum of Understanding, a program to build 600 to 1000 affordable for-sale units, either on or off site, over ten years.

The memorandum states: "It is currently contemplated that a majority of for-sale units will be sold to families in the upper affordable-income tiers." Note that those tiers go into six-figures, hardly the constituency of the New York branch of ACORN, the community organization that signed the housing deal with Forest City Ratner.

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