Brooklyn, NY — Journalist Norman Oder, on his Atlantic Yards Report, shows today that there are no guarantees that developer Forest City Ratner will build the 2,250 units of affordable housing promised for the Atlantic Yards development proposal in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. There are no guarantees that the developer will build any affordable units at all.
Based on documents obtained by Freedom of Information Law requests, Oder makes it clear that Ratner is only required to seek funding through subsidies for affordable housing. The documents reveal that if the developer is unable to get the funds he wants he doesn't have to build the number of units he's promised. Ratner is not required to get the funds and there is no understanding by the Empire State Development Corporation whether there will be room for all of those units under the annual allotments of housing bonds for New York City and State.
The General Project Plan, which is the proposal's governing document approved in 2006, originally had provisions that nearly guaranteed Atlantic Yards affordable housing. But those provisions never made it into the final version. The Modified General Project Plan (MGPP) released in late June also does not include those provisions guaranteeing affordable housing.
The public comment period on the MGPP ends on August 31st and, presumably without those guarantees, the Empire State Development Corporation is expected to rubberstamp the MGPP on September 17.
"We've expected all along that Forest City Ratner and New York State have no documented guarantees that Atlantic Yards will include 2,250 affordable housing units. Now the evidence shows it is true: there are no affordable housing guarantees for Atlantic Yards," said Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn spokesman Daniel Goldstein. "There should be a political firestorm over this from all of the elected officials, including Mayor Bloomberg, who've supported Atlantic Yards for the affordable housing, but we won't hold our breath on that."
The Atlantic Yards Report article, "Documents show affordable housing guarantees considered but discarded; no apparent effort to ascertain if housing bonds were sufficient," is at:
It may behoove Yonkers to review the contracts that are pending to ascertain if those contracts are iron clad.