Monday, December 28, 2009

Greenpoint wonders where its promised affordable housing is

From the Times Ledger:

As the City Council was voting to rezone the Broadway Triangle, a Williamsburg-based nonprofit received a $500,000 private donation to bolster its bid to develop another long-dormant site in Williamsburg.

St. Nicks Alliance, on behalf of the Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corporation (GREC), accepted the donation from the Von Damm Family Foundation, which would be used to advance GREC’s proposal to redevelop the site of the former Greenpoint Hospital (Kingsland and Maspeth avenues).

In 2005, GREC members seized the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Rezoning negotiations as an opportunity to restart discussions on their plan. An RFP for the site was created by the city as part of the waterfront rezoning, in which the city committed funding the creation of 1,800 units of affordable housing on city-owned sites within the boundaries of Community Board 1. So far, only 16 units of housing under the rezoning agreement have been built.

A spokesperson for HPD could not be reached by press time, though HPD officials have previously noted that a decision regarding the Greenpoint Hospital site is expected in the first quarter of 2010.

However, Cooper Park Houses President and GREC Coalition member Diane Jackson chastised the city for several months of delays.

“We’re still waiting for the city to create the affordable housing they promised after the Greenpoint Williamsburg waterfront rezoning,” said Jackson. “They’re telling us that development on two of the large publicly owned sites, the old Greenpoint Hospital and a couple of open areas in Cooper Park, is stalled because the city doesn’t have enough money. Then why has HPD given a commitment of over $10 million to develop housing in the Broadway Triangle area, on land which isn’t even properly zoned for housing now and where they’d have to push out some neighborhood businesses to make room?”

Look folks, it's time to realize that the words "affordable housing" are tweeding code words and are ALWAYS attached to some bullshit plan to make well-connected developers rich off taxpayer subsidies and tax breaks. Once you understand this thoroughly, you'll feel much less frustration over these schemes.

Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezone = Affordable housing bullshit
Western Railyards rezone = Affordable housing bullshit
Broadway Triangle rezone = Affordable housing bullshit
Downtown Jamaica rezone = Affordable housing bullshit
Willets Point rezone = Affordable housing bullshit
Queens West rezone = Affordable housing bullshit
Atlantic Yards = Affordable housing bullshit
Silvercup = Affordable housing bullshit

Here's just an example of how they pull fast ones, from the Western Railyards rezoning, which just happened last week...

From the NY Times:

"After lengthy negotiations with community groups, elected officials and the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, Related promised that 431 of the more than 5,000 apartments it planned to build at the site would be at below-market rates. The developer also pledged to preserve an additional 401 apartments in nearby housing complexes it owns for subsidized housing.

At the same time the city agreed to build 320 apartments for low- and moderate-income families on sites it owns in the neighborhood and to try to acquire an additional 150 units in single-room occupancy hotels."

This is what Christine Quinn got out of Related Companies after they got a discount on the purchase price from the MTA - that the City would continue to give them partial rent payments on already-built units and the City would build units on city-owned land.

OMG, what a great deal!

Developers are making millions of dollars off these projects and the local people who were suckered into accepting and sometimes shilling for neighborhood-destroying megaprojects in return for non-binding affordable housing agreements (with a very loose definition of "affordable") are the ones who suffer. It happens every single time. It's time to get wise, morons, and stop acting like doormats.

Rendering from Magnusson Architecture and Planning PC


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Word is bond, there's absolutely no such thing as affordable housing in NYC.

Well come to think of it there's afforable housing, it's called an illegal conversion.

Anonymous said...

no doubt the Chinese will move in en masse thanks to Asian Americans for Equality. like they did in all the new building in Long Island City.

or give the apartments to illegal aliens from Mexico with their jack pot babies.

Amazing how illegal aliens wind up in these apartments.

JO said...

to the guy above me, how Terrible it would be for the CHINESE to move into a building by me! oh my! another white supremacist on this site.

But they are probably going to cut the affordable housing because they will deem it not economically advantageous. And what can the public do? I say bulldoze their current work.

And when it is built, they will have a minimum 80k salary to get in. Those poor suffering who are making up to 120k to support a family.... When did affordable housing become unaffordable?

Anonymous said...

Jo! what about Homeless Americans, black and white? forget the illegal immigrants- give Americans the apartments.
yes it is terrible when illegal immigrants are helped into decent housing and Americans are left to sleep in the gutter.

Anonymous said...

Why do americans only have to be black and white? what about second-third generation americans? GUH.

Snake Plissskin said...

Affordable housing is only a slogan to get the clueless elderly or working class person to support massive development.

They see developers destroying a community and before they get a head of steam, their politican (knowing how to divide and conquer and keep info away from a community) will throw it out to get just enough of the clueless on board to shatter oppostion.

The machine likes it cause it keeps an ethnic or lower class contingent in an area that is becomeing white and rich (like LIC) which could always turn Republican.

Ditto the reason churches like it, too.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Queens West all over again...