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

Deputy Mayor Glen: "Atlantic Yards deals" represent "a better bargain for the taxpayer and the public" (well, now)

In a segment yesterday on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen defended the administration's affordable housing plans.

Starting at about 6:10, she said, "I could probably count on my hands the amount of times I've actually had a meeting with a lobbyist. If you look at the record of the administration, and if you look at the deals that we have done, it would pretty impossible to say that lobbyists have been influencing the way we build housing."

Well, there's lobbyists, and then there are companies. And while de Blasio's efforts certainly surpass those of his predecessor, many advocates have been critical, given the city's need.

Glen cited an article about how tough the administration had been in restructuring the affordable housing at the Domino Sugar site in Williamsburg.

"Time and time again, we have demonstrated that we are getting a better bargain for the taxpayer and for the public," she said, "whether it's in the Domino Sugar deal, the Atlantic Yards deals, all these deals have been structured in such a way to make sure the taxpayer and the public are getting the most affordable housing ever, per dollar."

My posted comment:

Alicia Glen's comment on the success of the Atlantic Yards (aka Pacific Park) deals bears far more scrutiny. There are more units for the same amount of subsidy, compared to the first building, but... that's because there are far more middle-income units.

Half the 535 Carlton building, billed as 100% affordable, consists of studios for $2,137, 1BRs for $2680, 2BRs for $3223, and 3BRs for $3716.

Despite more than 92,000 (mostly lower-income) households applying for the lottery for units at 535 Carlton, the developer and its nonprofit partner were unable to fill the middle income units, and have opened up access to the general public (who fit the income categories). That suggests low demand for this rather expensive "affordable housing."

I wrote about the administration's affordable housing spin here.