Friday, April 01, 2016

So, where's the announcement for 461 Dean (B2) affordable housing? (+what Google ads say)

It's surely coming, but it's already late: the lottery for the 181 affordable housing units at the modular tower 461 Dean Street (aka B2) was expected to open in March, as DNAinfo and derivative sources like Curbed reported in early February.

Earlier this month, a representative of the Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY) reiterated that applications should be available in March.

That March projection was itself a month later than the February date projected in a late January message, as noted in the  image at right.

Why the delay?

The reasons for the delay have not been explained, but the timing of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project has long been fuzzy.

461 Dean has been plagued by complications and delays, including water damage--reported as repaired--in the first four floors of the building, and flapping panels on the exterior. (The building also faces $12,000 in unpaid fines and penalties for construction violations.)

461 Dean, once supposed to take less than two years and save money, will take nearly four years and cost far more than expected. Forest City Ratner (which owns this building outright) and former construction partner Skanska blame each other for the problems, in multiple pending lawsuits.

This was once supposed to be the first tower built of an all-modular construction plan, but the current majority owner of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park (excepting the arena and B2), Shanghai-based Greenland Holdings, decided to proceed using conventional construction. The FC Modular plant at the Brooklyn Navy Yard has laid off most of its workers.

To get applications

Applications for the B2 will be available via MHANY Management, noted in the graphic above, as well as NYC Housing Connect. The current version of the latter site is shown in the screenshot below. Note that the application period is 60 days.

Search for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, find Ashland Lottery

It's notable that Google searches for "Pacific Park Brooklyn," "Pacific Park Brooklyn affordable," or "Atlantic Yards affordable" deliver--at least for now--paid ads directing people to the lottery for 250 Ashland Place near the Brooklyn Academy of Music. See screenshots below.

While the Ashland Lottery does indicate the lottery encompasses units for households from low- to middle-income, the Google ads stress the middle-income units, such as 1-bedroom apartments for $2,632 per month.

I suspect that, while middle-income households certainly would appreciate a new, below-market apartment, many don't know they qualify for "affordable housing," which simply means they'd pay 30% of their income in rent. (Hence, the better term might be "income-linked housing.")

Thus, the focus on advertising for them, rather than low-income residents already desperate for affordable housing, In November 2014, I pointed out how the middle-income affordable housing at Hunters Point South in Queens was heavily advertised.

Selected screenshots for Google searches

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