From the Wall Street Journal:
One of Christine Quinn's signature pitches as she runs for New York City mayor is a housing plan that would create 80,000 new low-cost apartments with prices that potentially could stay below-market rate forever.
The City Council speaker's proposal for so-called permanent affordable housing is attracting resistance from many low-cost housing advocates, who say it would make some types of buildings harder to finance and result in fewer units overall. But one of the groups has become the plan's most active supporter. The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development has lobbied city officials on the issue and produced a series of reports warning of the dangers of losing cheap apartments, laying out the benefits of permanently affordable housing.
The nonprofit group, which has publicly supported permanently affordable housing for several years, requested $100,000 in city funds for each of the past three years to advocate for the issue, and the funds were granted by Ms. Quinn, according to the speaker's office. A contract with the city says the group—a registered lobbyist that has an operating budget of about $1 million—must use the money to "convince the state and city to incorporate permanent affordability" into government housing policy—the idea on which Ms. Quinn is campaigning.
Civic groups said the use of city money to support public advocacy by a lobbyist is unusual. The grant, also known as a member item, was drawn from a pot of less than $17 million in 2012 over which the speaker has sole discretion.