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About those "poor-er floors" in affordable towers: NYC says units redistributed (but new document not yet filed)

In November 2016, I reported on subleases for the "100% affordable" 535 Carlton and 38 Sixth towers that seemed to assign most of the low-income units to the lower floors of each tower.

For example, at 535 Carlton, the 15 neediest households, paying $589 for a one-bedroom and $713 for a two-bedroom, were assigned to the three lowest floors (2-4). The other 75 low-income units were distributed more extensively, but concentrated in the lower half of the building. 

While that wasn't the "poor door" or even the "poor floor," I called it "poor-er floor."

Pushback, but no documentation

A representative of the developer said that was not accurate, but wouldn't provide specifics. 

When the question was raised in public that month, Forest City Ratner's Ashley Cotton said, "And we're working with HDC [New York City Housing Development Corporation], and it will be much more spread all around. The final determination will be done by HDC, and it’s not done yet."

An update

So, in the course of reporting my article about the affordable housing lottery, I asked NYC HDC for an update.

HDC told me they reviewed a redistribution of units with the developer "and the units are now more evenly distributed throughout the building and are reflective of our general guidelines and marketing plan." The lease agreement is expected to be amended at a later date.

A check on ACRIS (look for PP 38 SIXTH AVENUE TC and PP 535 CARLTON TC) shows no new sublease has been filed. A query to the developer went unanswered.

So that raises a few questions:
  • Was this just an error? (If so, it wasn't exactly random.)
  • Why were they trying to concentrate the units on the lower floors in the first place? 
  • Would they have changed it if I (or others?) hadn't raised the issue?
  • When will they file the amended lease?


  1. Anonymous8:15 AM

    Good article. And you will never ever find them on the top floor


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