Monday, February 01, 2016

"Affordable" 535 Carlton apartments will cost a lot (2BRs > $3200), which is why developer keeps mum

Pacific Park’s First Affordable Building Tops Out At 535 Carlton Avenue, reported YIMBY this morning. Curbed essentially re-blogged that article, and DNAinfo published a similar story.

YIMBY gave us some details that hint at the not-so-affordable nature of the building:
Future tenants will come from “low-, moderate-, and middle-income households,” which ranges from 40 percent of the Area Median Income to 165 percent AMI. For a family of four, that means tenants can earn as little as $34,520 (40 percent AMI) or as much as $142,395 (165 percent AMI).
Half the apartments will rent to the wealthiest income bracket (165 percent AMI), and a quarter of the units will be reserved for families who earn 60 percent AMI, or $51,780 for a four-person household. Only 15 apartments will go to families at the low end of the spectrum, which is 40 percent AMI. The chart below shows what percentage of apartments will be set aside for families at each income level.
The bottom line

But missing from that article, as well as the others, was the bottom line: what's the rent? Is it too damn high? Here's a chart I prepared based on this and the similarly 100% affordable 38 Sixth Avenue:
Rents estimated as of 2014; increase for 2016 should be about 3%
Note that the income range is up to 165% of AMI, but rents are set at 160% of AMI. Given the 3% increase in AMI since 2014, that suggests two-bedroom apartments would cost $3,234 a month.

In other words, most of the "affordable housing" won't help those who marched for it. But it will help some lucky middle-income people.

Note that the YIMBY writer, Rebecca Baird-Remba, tweeted that the developers claimed they didn't have the rents. Well, then, it's the job of journalists to try to figure it out.

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