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Affordable housing, Trojan Horse?

The truth is today, if you’re a developer with a bad project, a large bad project that shouldn’t be built... the smart thing to do is say, ‘Y’know what, I’m going to provide you with some really good affordable housing.’ So affordable housing is the Trojan Horse these days on big bad projects that shouldn’t get done. And neighborhood activists and many of our elected officials become very reluctant to oppose a project, any project, that has a large affordable housing component.

So says Julia Vitullo-Martin of the Manhattan Institute, in Isabel Hill's documentary Brooklyn Matters, screened last night at the Center for Architecture. Tomorrow I'll have a report on the film, and the ensuing discussion.

As for Vitullo-Martin's quote, yes, the Manhattan Institute is conservative, but her observation is more analytical than ideological. Indeed, Borough President Marty Markowitz and others have said that Atlantic Yards must be at the size proposed because of the affordable housing.