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

Shelterforce on racially loaded development terms like Blight and Workforce Housing (+ some AY echoes)

An 8/23/17 post from Shelterforce, "the only independent, non-academic publication covering the worlds of community development, affordable housing, and neighborhood stabilization," points to the page at right and below, suggesting "Yes" as the answer to the question, "Is It Time to Bury Racially Loaded Planning and Development Terms?"

A few terms are particularly relevant, even ironically so, to the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park saga.

What about Blight?

Shelterforce writes:
“A facially neutral term infused with racial and ethnic prejudice. While it purportedly assessed the state of urban infrastructure, ‘blight’ was often used to describe the negative impact of certain residents on city neighborhoods,” according to Wendell Pritchett in “The Public Menace of Blight.” See also CityLab’s “The Meaning of Blight,” found at Instead say what you actually mean—high levels of vacancy, crime, substandard housing (and make sure you aren’t making assumptions about those things based on residents’ race).
With Atlantic Yards, however, blight was found thanks to the willful misreading of cracked sidewalks, graffiti, and empty lots that were in the path of gentrification.

What about Workforce Housing?

Shelterforce writes:
What could be wrong with providing housing for “the workforce”? Nothing except this phrase is usually used to mean housing for people making moderate incomes, implying that people with very low incomes are not part of the workforce at all, which is far from the case. Instead say moderate-income housing.
Indeed, it's used in New York City to distinguish from housing for the poor, but not necessarily for moderate-income households but also for better-off middle-income ones.

Note how MaryAnne Gilmartin of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park developer Forest City Ratner used "workforce housing" and "middle-income housing" interchangeably or how Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen called moderate- and middle-income families "our workforce."