Saturday, July 22, 2006

Clarification: AY affordable apartment sizes set by city program

When I observed a week ago that the sizes of the 2250 affordable apartments proposed for the Atlantic Yards project seemed small--400 square feet for a studio, 575 sf for a 1-bedroom, 775 sf for a 2-bedroom, and 950 sf for a 3-bedroom--I implied that the dimensions could be attributed to developer Forest City Ratner.

That was unfair. I should have explained, as I since have learned, that the sizes derive from the New Housing Opportunities Program (New HOP) of the New York City Housing Development Corporation, which would help fund the units.

It's curious, though, that Forest City Ratner and ACORN did not announce the apartment sizes at the 7/11/06 affordable housing information session. That might have caused the audience to express even more skepticism.

And a question remains. While the affordable housing would represent a little less than 33% of the units at the project, it would apparently represent only 22% of the square footage. (That's based on an even distribution of the four different sizes. Note that there would be 2250 market-rate rentals and 2360 market-rate condos.)

Is that correct? How much bigger would the market-rate apartments be, and what percentage of the total housing space allotment in the project would they occupy?

We know that the original pledge of 50/50 affordable housing has been put aside because of addition of the market-rate condos. Now project supporters emphasize that 50% of the rental units would be affordable. But would the affordable rentals occupy 50% of the space allotted for the rentals?

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