From the NY Post:
ACORN has quietly become one of the Big Apple's biggest owners of low- and moderate-income housing, amassing a real-estate empire worth at least $50 million, The Post has learned.
New York ACORN and a tangled web of affiliates own or manage nearly 1,500 housing units across three boroughs and draw in an estimated $5.7 million in rents, fees and profits from sales.
The properties are controlled by an opaque collection of nonprofits, holding companies and development funds. Many have generic names, like the 385 Palmetto Street Housing Development Fund or the Mutual Housing Association of New York, leaving no clue of their ties to the national ACORN conglomerate.
Founded in 1987, MHANY now owns more than 80 homes and apartment houses across Brooklyn and brought in some $2.5 million in revenue in 2007, according to a Post review of state and federal filings.
Such income helps support at least 18 local ACORN affiliates largely based at the 2-4 Nevins St., Brooklyn, address ACORN shares with the left-of-center Working Families Party.
Among them is New York ACORN Housing Company, which was thrust into a political firestorm last week after two of its employees were caught in a national hidden-camera sting giving shady financial advice to two conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute.
From the NY Post:
Despite a string of scandals that recently led Congress to cut off its federal funding, ACORN still stands to make millions of dollars off its support for Brooklyn’s controversial Atlantic Yards project, The Post has learned.
The left-wing organization -- longtime boosters of the $4.9 billion NBA arena and residential- and office-tower project -- says it expects to be tapped to market and help decide who gets to live in the coveted, but long-delayed, 2,250 affordable-housing units planned for Atlantic Yards.
This, after Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner helped bail ACORN out of financial trouble last September with a $1 million loan and a $500,000 grant, according to memos.
Although contracts are not yet been signed, Ismene Speliotis, executive director of ACORN’s New York chapter, told The Post her organization “expects to play a role in the marketing and lease-up” of the Prospect Heights project’s affordable housing to be underwritten by the city.
The work would include community outreach and screening people to determine qualified applicants, and then scandal-scarred ACORN would be entrusted with overseeing a lottery system to choose who gets the housing. Ratner’s firm is expected to manage the housing.
When asked how much ACORN might make off Atlantic Yards, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development referred questions to Ratner, who said via a spokesman it wasn’t the “appropriate time” to make such “decisions.”
But Anita MonCrief, a former ACORN official-turned-whistleblower, estimates the anticipated deal could bring the group $5 million to $10 million annually over multiple years from the public and private sector based on other housing deals ACORN has nationwide.
ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis trying to pull a fast one with Develop Don't Destroy's Daniel Goldstein: