Skip to main content

Featured Post

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

Affordable housing by 2025: the Hunters Point South solution?

Yes, the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park plan was to assume cross-subsidization, either in individual buildings, as 50% affordable/50% market towers, or in the project as a whole.

That assumed persistence of the 421-a tax break, which would apply to buildings that were market-rate, as long as the overall project had minimum affordability. But as of 2014, when the new 2025 affordable housing deadline, the developers should've been wary of a coming glut in other market-rate units and rising construction costs--the two other factors, beyond the tax break, that led Forest City in 2016 to announce a pause in construction.

What's affordable?

That leads to the question: under what circumstance could they build the remaining affordable units?

Keep in mind, as noted in the project Development Agreement, that Affordable Housing is defined as units subject to income and rent restrictions in a city or state regulatory agreement, providing that "such units will be affordable to individuals or families earning no more than 160% of AMI [Area Median Income] or, if higher, the highest percentage of AMI used at the applicable time" under a city or state initiative.

In other words, it could go higher.

What about the Hunters Point South model?

Maybe, as I noted in the Twitter exchange, the housing could be added by following the example of Hunters Point South in Queens, where 165% of Area Median Income (AMI) is not the higher middle-income "band," but actually the lower one, since AMI goes up to 230%, as shown in the screenshot below.

It's still "below market," "income linked" housing if a two-bedroom rents for nearly $4,000, right?