Skip to main content

As AMI climbs, a significant slice of Atlantic Yards "affordable housing" seems to track market

How much of the Atlantic Yards affordable housing would be, in the words of a July 2006 Daily News editorial, "real housing for the real Brooklyn"? Only about half.

The newspaper defined that cohort as those "on waiting lists for public housing and Section 8 vouchers." Those seeking Section 8 assistance must earn 50% or less of Area Median Income (AMI). Those seeking public housing can earn up to 80% of AMI. Currently, with the AMI $76,812, that means a four-person household could earn up to $61,540.

Noticing New York's Michael D. D. White recently broke it down, in a post pointing out that the rent for four-person households in the more expensive 900 "affordable" apartments--or 40% of the 2250 total subsidized units--would be $2304 and $2880.

(White produced the graphic above. Click on graphics to enlarge.)

That's at and above many market-rate units in the adjacent neighborhoods. Sure, there are two bedroom apartments that are more expensive, but they may be much larger or with luxury finishes. The Atlantic Yards affordable housing would be (nominally) designed by Frank Gehry, well-located near transit and subject to rent stabilization, but they almost certainly would not have luxury amenities, and they could be as small as 775 square feet.

ACORN's overestimate

As I wrote in July 2006, covering an Atlantic Yards affordable housing information session, ACORN's Bertha Lewis claimed of the middle-class, “These people--they’re paying a minimum of $2500 up to $4000.”

Not only was that the wrong message for the working-class audience, it wasn't true. A quick web search showed a good number of two-bedroom apartments in neighborhoods reasonably close to the project site for under $2500. And so it does again, as shown in the screenshots.

White's critique

White brought up the cost of housing as part of his Jane Jacobs Report Card.. He wrote:
Atlantic Yards will abruptly displace the diverse and longstanding populations in the neighborhoods (including residents with historic ties) and replace them, on a regimented basis, with a brand new set of “sorted” residents. Replacement will not occur until after the substantial vacancy period (likely decades) required to redevelop the 22 acres. Very-low-income families and individuals will be displaced but there will be little provision for them to return. The project will house the minimum number of low-income tenants required under the United State tax code in order for the developer to take away special benefits. There will, however, be no place in the project for the relatively low income families and individuals whose incomes are just above the low income level (see chart).

Most of the developer-envisioned 6,430 units will be for that part of the“luxury” end of the market for people interested in renting or buying in this area of Brooklyn and will not be subject to the more precise income-sorting called for by the regulatory agreement. A total of 2,250 units will be subject to the more particularized income sorting called for by the regulatory agreement requirements. Those units, which will all be referred to as “affordable housing,” will go to people with incomes up to $122,899.20 a year (see chart). Since this will be in the future, actual incomes will be higher. Though sorted into a number of permitted income bands, many of those regimented bands will likely overlap with the incomes of people in the neighborhood who reside in market rate apartments. (Note, however, that any overlap will be apart from families with incomes of a certain range ($38,407 to $46,086.20) who are being afforded no entree into the project. The figures from the chart are for families of four. Families of other sizes may find themselves ineligible for the project if they have incomes at higher or lower levels.) Rents for the “affordable” units will be up to $2,880.45 in 2008 dollars. Since this will be in the future, that figure will be higher.

None of this regimented occupancy is consistent with the interactive strengthening and mutually reinforcing diversity Ms. Jacob’s talks about getting when “visitors sniff out where something vigorous exists already, and come to share it, thereby further supporting it."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming + FAQ (post-dated pinned post)

This graphic, posted in January 2018, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.

The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won't be so cheap.

As …

The passing of David Sheets, Dean Street renter, former Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality

David Sheets, longtime Dean Street renter, Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality, died 1/17/18 in HCA Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green, KY. He was 56.

There are obituary notices in the Bowling Green Daily News and the Wichita Eagle, which state:
He was born in Wichita, KS where he attended public Schools and Wichita State University. He lived for many years in Brooklyn, NY, and was employed as a legal assistant. David's hobby was cartography and had an avid interest in Mass Transit Systems of the world. David was predeceased by his father, Kenneth E. Sheets. He is survived by his mother, Wilma Smith, step-brother, Billy Ray Smith and his wife, Jane all of Bowling Green; step-sister, Ellen Smith Alexander and her husband, Jerry of Bella Vista, AR; several cousins and step-nieces and step-nephews also survive. Memorial Services will be on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm with visitation from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday at Johnson-Vaughn-Phe…

Some skepticism on Belmont hockey deal: lease value seems far below Aqueduct racino; unclear (but large?) cost for LIRR service

As I wrote for The Bridge 12/20/1, The Islanders Say Bye to Brooklyn, But Where Next?, the press conference announcing a new arena at Belmont Park for the New York Islanders was "long on pomp... but short on specifics."

Notably, a lease valued at $40 million "upfront to lease up to 43 acres over 49 years... seems like a good deal on rent for the state-controlled property." Also, the Long Island Rail Road will expand service to Belmont.

That indicates public support for an arena widely described as "privately financed," but how much? We don't know yet, but some more details--or at least questions--have emerged.

An Aqueduct comparable?

Well, we don't know what the other bid was, and there aren't exactly parcels that large offering direct comparables.

But consider: Genting New York LLC in September 2010 was granted a franchise to operate a video lottery terminal under a 30 year lease on 67 acres at Aqueduct Park (as noted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo).

As…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…