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Stringer (via DN's Gonzalez): City not reporting on subsidies

In a 4/29/16 column, Gonzalez: NYC's housing reports so flawed they're nearly useless, Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez wrote that Comptroller Scott Stringer told Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen that "his office found so many errors and omissions in a periodic report required by the City Council since 2012 to track both new affordable units and the subsidies handed to real estate developers that the data are almost useless."

Omitted from the Local Law 44 report are two 100% affordable buildings that are part of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project, 535 Carlton Avenue and 38 Sixth Avenue, which have benefited from $85 million and $93 million in tax-exempt financing from the New York City Housing Development Corporation (NYC HDC).

New York City Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner told Gonzalez that her  agency omits projects that receive get NYC HDC help only. Stringer pointed out that NYC HDC's board includes mayoral executives, including Been (who chairs the board).

Indeed, they all seem interlinked. Regarding 535 Carlton, the 12/15/14 city press release quoted NYC HDC President Gary Rodney: "I’m proud of the work that HDC has done to help deliver on the Mayor’s promise to jump-start development at Pacific Park and bring much needed affordable housing to the community."

Regarding 38 Sixth Avenue, the 6/18/15 press release from Forest City Enterprises quoted Rodney: "Thanks to a collaborative partnership with Citi Community Capital, Empire State Development, and HPD, HDC was able to provide the financing for this mixed income housing development, delivering on the goals of the Mayor's housing plan."
Drilling down

Here's the page on Local Law 44:
In 2012, the City Council passed Local Law 44 which requires HPD to make information available on its website about certain housing development projects receiving City financial assistance. In turn, for projects where this law applies, HPD is requiring developers to gather and submit to HPD the information on the date of closing and again with new and updated information on every January 30 and July 30 thereafter (commencing on whichever date is the first to occur after closing) until completion of construction or permanent loan closing.
A “housing development project” is defined as "is funded in whole or in part by city financial assistance other than non-discretionary tax abatements or benefits approved or administered in accordance with sections 421-a or 489 of the New York state real property tax law or other similar programs." NYC HDC assistance is discretionary, non-discretionary.

“City financial assistance” is defined as "any loans, grants, tax credits, tax exemptions, tax abatements, subsidies, mortgages, debt forgiveness, land conveyances for less than appraised value, land value or other thing of value allocated, conveyed or expended by the city."

So NYC HDC loans are certainly financial assistance. 

Are they all "allocated, conveyed or expended by the city"? Well, NYC HDC, as stated on its web site, was created by the New York State Legislature "as a supplementary and alternative means of supplying financing for affordable housing that was independent from the City's capital budget."

But in practice NYC HDC is an arm of the city. Beyond the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park examples above, note these recent press releases:

Comments

  1. Anonymous10:10 PM

    HPD & NYC HDC does not track developer to loan fund, to year of building. FOIL requests made requesting information with no response from HPD.

    ReplyDelete

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