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Year of the Sheep, redux: 535 Carlton affordable housing lottery emerges, no one notices how it's skewed to $100K+ households

wrote yesterday about Metro's skewed coverage that suggests the new 535 Carlton "affordable" building is for "low- and moderate-income New Yorkers," rather than mostly for middle-income ones, with fully half the units for households earning six figures. (Here's the lottery, open through Sept. 15.)

Only 20% of the affordable units, not 50%, were supposed to go to that middle-income cohort.

We should better call the housing "income-linked," given that "affordable"=30% of income spent on rent. Half the units are at 165% of Area Median Income, or AMI, which is $90,600 for a four-person household. AMI is calculated not based on New York City or Brooklyn alone but by including some wealthier suburbs.

Now we have some not so discerning follow-up. Patch posted Photos: Nab a New Studio in Prospect Heights for $548 Per Month. Fort Greene Focus had Affordable Housing Lottery For 535 Carlton Avenue Starts Tomorrow! Curbed posted Pacific Park’s Next Batch of Affordable Rentals to Hit NYC's Housing Lottery. Also see DNAInfo, $548 Studios Available in New Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Tower.

Reported 6sqft:
A housing lottery for the latter will open tomorrow, according to a press release, offering low, moderate and middle-income residents the chance to apply for apartments ranging from $548/month studios to $3,716/month three-bedrooms.
Exactly none explained--though 6sqft did so in the graphic below, which I've annotated--the actual breakdown of units. (Gothamist, in Lottery For New Affordable Housing By Barclays Center Is Now Open, was more cynical.)

The NYC Housing Connect announcement is below.

The page from the new 535 Carlton web site is below. Note the information session at NYU Poly on August 17.

Flashback: electeds praise building

Below are some selected quotes (emphases added) from the December 2014 press release, upon the groundbreaking. I called it "Year of the Sheep." Exactly zero made reference to the skewed nature of the affordability.

If elected officials won't do it, media outlets are content with content with press releases, and the promised Independent Compliance Monitor is never hired to compare promises with results, well, we're in a mirage.
  • “Last summer, we made a promise to this community that we would jumpstart affordable housing here and get shovels in the ground by the end of the year. Today, we’re delivering. We intend to take every opportunity, push every partner, and stretch every dollar further as we take on this affordability crisis,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
  • “This groundbreaking is a symbol of the State’s commitment to ensuring affordable housing for all New Yorkers. Earlier this year, we announced that we would fast-track the delivery of much-needed affordable housing here at Pacific Park, and today we’re delivering on that promise. This is great news for the local community—especially Brooklyn residents who will see new, affordable buildings being constructed in their neighborhoods,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
  • “The construction and preservation of affordable housing is a priority in Brooklyn, which is why this groundbreaking of close to 300 units in Prospect Heights is such an important milestone. It furthers my mission to ensure our borough can continue to be home to everyone from everywhere. I look forward to continuing to work with Greenland Forest City Partners on affordable, sustainable and high-quality living in Pacific Park,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
  • “Today, as we break ground on this extraordinary building, we also recognize a promise that we made when we first announced this project in 2003. Pacific Park Brooklyn will be built on the shared belief that as a City, we can rise together. It is a vision for a City where rich and poor can live together, and where we all do better together,” said Bertha Lewis, President of the Black Institute.
  • “This groundbreaking is a momentous next step in the development of Pacific Park. These affordable units are essential to addressing the housing crisis in our city and ensuring accessibility to the project for all community members. I look forward to the ribbon cutting ceremony for 535 Carlton Avenue and many more affordable housing developments to come,” said Assembly Member Walter Mosley.
  • “The groundbreaking at Pacific Park is the realization of our City’s promise to preserving not only the affordability of communities across Brooklyn, but its economic and cultural diversity. Today’s groundbreaking is symbolic of our ability to work collaboratively with the residents of this community to build a stronger New York for all. It is an essential step to ensuring that New Yorkers can continue to call this city home without being uprooted from their communities,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.
  • “Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) is pleased that 535 Carlton is breaking ground today and that Greenland Forest City Partners is on its way to fulfilling one of its key recent commitments made with NYS and BrooklynSpeaks—starting construction of at least 590 units of affordable housing by June 30th, 2015. The local community desperately needs access to affordable housing and this is a meaningful step forward in fulfilling that need” said Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director of FAC.
  • This is a testament to what’s possible, in terms of real affordability for New Yorkers. Pacific Park Brooklyn is a model for the shared vision of a New York that works for all,” said Jonathan Westin, Director of NY Communities for Change.


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