Saturday, December 13, 2008

With NYC's Donovan as HUD chief, affordable housing help likely--and for AY?

The New York Times reports today:
President-elect Barack Obama has picked the widely respected housing commissioner for New York City, Shaun Donovan, to be the secretary of housing in his cabinet.

...As chief of New York’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Mr. Donovan is in charge of the Bloomberg administration’s $7.5 billion New Housing Marketplace Plan to build or preserve 165,000 units for to low- and moderate-income families, housing up to 500,000 residents, by 2013.


It's probably good news for cities and affordable housing. Advocates have called for much more direct federal aid for public housing and other assistance, including tax-exempt financing, to finance affordable housing.

As I reported in June 2006:
...Before Congress, HPD’s Shaun Donovan offered two proposals to increase funds available to the city; one would “allow for 'recycling' or 'refunding' of multi-family bonds after principal repayments or pre-payments of the bonds.” The second would involve “raising the allocation of volume cap for high cost areas” like New York. (As HPD commissioner, Donovan also serves as chairman of the HDC.)

New York City needs a lot more "volume cap," an allocation of federal tax-exempt financing for projects like the proposed Atlantic Yards affordable housing, which has been jeopardized by a funding crisis. Such an increase could lessen the expected significant delays in the AY housing (which of course wouldn't get started until the project moves forward).

[Correction: the headline originally said HPD, not HUD.]

3 comments:

  1. Why not also note that Donovan has supported Atlantic Yards since the first press conference? He was there back then.

    Would that scare your readers?

    This is doubly bad for the critics. The policies Donovan wants to put in place would free up a lot more money for AY.

    And it would remove yet another false hope from your ever-full bin, like Dennis Kucinich's opposition to the IRS tax exempt bonding.

    You have this history of suggesting that the arena will be delayed by this lawsuit or that lack of housing funds or that IRS rule or that financing issue. At the end of the day, they all seem to go away, one by one by one.

    You criticize the media for not taking up your various suggestions that these issues will stall the development...without an understanding that all these processes are dynamic, that they can change and that real journalists understand that, from their training and their experience.

    Bottom line: political support for Atlantic Yards at all levels is likely to grow, not diminish. It is a major project, an iconic project, which in a time of downsized opportunities serves as a hope for continued growth in the city.

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  2. Mr. W--

    The arena, according to Forest City, has been delayed by the lawsuit.

    There's been no attempt to apply for housing funds yet.

    Yes, processes are dynamic. And Donovan and Carrion advising the White House surely would help the Bloomberg administration's priorities.

    Real journalists sign their names to their comments.

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  3. "You have this history of suggesting that the arena will be delayed by this lawsuit or that lack of housing funds or that IRS rule or that financing issue."

    the arena is delayed for at least 6 years, that is if it is ever built. what are you talking about.

    "It is an iconic project?" Really 26 new vacant lots sitting indefinitely until the developer decides he is not so fragile to build something (who knows what) in the market place is iconic? nah, it's typical.

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