...the idea that triggering MIH makes this rezoning some sort of salve to the affordability crisis is a cruel joke. The most common criticism of MIH is that the “affordable” units are unaffordable to neighborhood residents. That’s certainly true. In my own writing, I’ve mostly focused on the impact that adding additional market rate development capacity will have on neighborhoods targeted for gentrification. But this rezoning points to another absurdity in the law.
The developer is proposing to use what’s called “option 2” of MIH, which requires the owner to set aside 30 percent of their units (in this case 27 apartments, all studios and 1-2 bedrooms) at an average of 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). The word “average” is crucial here, because it implies that the developer will provide a range of options, which might look as follows.
- In the best-case scenario, there would be just 9 new apartments for the typical neighborhood household, which makes something like 40 percent AMI. This also means there would be nothing for half the people of Elmhurst—the poorer half that is most likely to face displacement.
- 9 apartment seekers would get homes at 80 percent AMI, and pay close to the median asking rents for market-rate apartments in the district. This means that wealthier-than-average people will get average priced apartments, and it will be called “affordable housing.”
- Another 9 wealthy but inexplicably ill-informed households might take the 9 apartments offered for 120 percent AMI, which amounts to prices above the neighborhood’s average asking rent.
- For some reason, people making 3 times the neighborhood median income are expected to move in and pay more than market rates for so-called “affordable” housing. Perhaps the developer assumes they’ll be willing to pay more in rent for the privilege of living above a Target.
A two-tower complex with over 500 residential units could be making its way to Queens Boulevard in Woodside.
The large-scale development, put forth by Madison Realty Capital, would see a 17 and a 14 story building at 69-02 Queens Boulevard housing 561 units combined, according to filings with the Department of City Planning.
Over 425,000 square feet would be allowed to the residential portion of the complex, which includes 392 market rate apartments and 169 affordable units. The site would also see 5,640 square feet of commercial space.
The development would also include parking for 242 cars, and an open space between the two towers at ground level featuring picnic tables, table tennis, a putting green, and a sand lounge for residents.
A sand lounge? What the hell is that?
Remember, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing was supposed to offer more "affordable housing" but that only comes with out of character structures and a shit-ton of ridiculously priced units that hasten gentrification.