Friday, February 28, 2014

No, most affordable Atlantic Yards apartments wouldn't rent for $2,180 to $2,740 a month (that's the 2BR units)

Forest City Ratner is often the beneficiary of lazy and/or sloppy reporting. How many media outlets that covered the ceremonial delivery of the first mods for B2 in December circled back to point out it was mostly a media event?

What about the Daily News article this week that somehow described the development adjacent to the arena as "slated for 2,250 units of affordable housing," ignoring the 4180 not so affordable units? That's why Forest City spends and strategizes on public relations.

But recently Forest City has actually on the wrong side of some sloppy reporting, and people have been misinformed about the exact nature of the affordable housing in the first tower, B2.

Drilling down

As a parenthetical in a long 2/19/14 article on affordable housing, the New York Observer reported:
(Atlantic Yards has drawn flak for devoting a majority of its first “affordable” apartments—projected to rent for $2,180 to $2,740 a month—to tenants making 120 to 150 percent of the AMI.)
Today, on the Brian Lehrer Show, a reporter
picked up the meme, claiming(at about 19:05) responded to the host's question about whether families earning over $100,000 could get affordable housing said "Just look at the Atlantic Yards project. The two-bedrooms there are going to run above $2700. And that's the affordable."

To be precise, there would be two-bedroom units for families earning six figures in two income bands--140% and 160%--and they would rent for $2180 and $2740, respectively. 

I'm responsible for some of that flak, so I know those numbers aren't right. I know it's nuanced, and complicated, but that's what hyperlinks are for.

Those numbers apply to the majority of its first "affordable" 2BR apartments, not the studios or 1BR units, as shown in the graphic at right. (I wrote about this last November.)

It is important to recognize that Forest City promised that 50% of the affordable housing--in floor area--would be for families, and the first tower falls way short. And it's important to recognize that Forest City negotiated to ensure that the affordable 2BR units would be skewed toward the more expensive units.

But that doesn't mean that inaccurate information should be repeated.



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