Friday, September 01, 2006

Letter to Village Voice re ACORN/FCR responses

Criticizing Cynthia Carr's Atlantic Yards article ["Life in the Footprint," August 2–8], ACORN's Bertha Lewis writes that ACORN worked with the developer "to guarantee that 50 percent of the 4,500 new units" will be affordable. However, that pledge applies only to the rentals. Soon after signing the affordable housing agreement, Forest City Ratner added thousands of market-rate condos--now 2360.

FCR's Jim Stuckey writes that current renters in the AY footprint have been offered comparable apartments. However, South Brooklyn Legal Services warns that the relocation agreements do not provide differential rent--the difference between what renters now pay under rent regulation and the cost of a temporary unit--for more than three years. Stuckey calls Atlantic Yards "a new model" for affordable housing. The project is better seen as a privately-negotiated affordable housing bonus, in which the outsize scale is justified by the inclusion of subsidized housing. However, only a small amount of the Atlantic Yards affordable housing would be built in the first phase. Better models have emerged publicly, via the City Council,

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