Some members of the team helping Mayor de Blasio reach his dream of increasing the supply of affordable apartments in New York have a dirty little secret — an $11.8 million one.
That’s how much an elite group of 10 contractors and one developer now building affordable units across the city owed this year to workers cheated out of wages they were supposed to get, a Daily News investigation has found.
The group is building or renovating nearly 2,800 affordable apartments in 37 developments across the city, records obtained under the Freedom of Information Law show. These projects are receiving $41 million in city grants or low-interest loans plus $206 million worth of tax credits. When finished, the apartments they’re building will count toward de Blasio’s oft-stated goal of building or preserving 200,000 affordable units in 10 years — a cornerstone of his administration.
The city Housing Preservation & Development Department allows these builders to work on these projects, despite their track record, on the condition that they repay what is owed.
All 11 were placed on a special “enhanced review” list after subcontractors they brought in on earlier jobs got caught paying workers a fraction of what they were owed. The builders are responsible for making sure that doesn’t happen.