Affordable Housing: 200,000 or Bust

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development, and Carl Weisbrod, chair of the City Planning Commission, talk about the revised deal with Two Trees to include more units of affordable housing in exchange for greater height in the development of the Domino Sugar factory site in Williamsburg. They explain how the deal came together and how the mayor's goal of adding 200,000 units of affordable housing over 10 years can be achieved.


Alicia Glen and Carl Weisbrod

Comments [18]

resident alien from Williamsburg

the NYC developers and their hired guns are running circles around NYC politicians and city employees:

1. no development should have been allowed at all on the flood zone A waterfront! period. i.e. not the outrageous towers that are now fencing in Brooklyn (or Manhattan, depends how you look at it).

2. all those high rises should have been staggered further inland!

3. no development without appropriate infra structure and public spaces!

4. developments that create windfall profits also have to include on site(!) "affordable housing" developers should not be allowed to shift their "affordable housing" quotas to other city areas! (what's "affordable" in Williamsburg is market rate in Ridgewood...)

5. DeBlasio should call for an immediate moratorium. All projects currently under development should be revisited and revised with the above criteria! Where is imminent domain when it actually would benefit the public and not a single developer like Atlantic yards?

Mar. 06 2014 04:25 PM

…variances, subsidies, tax breaks - OUR tax dollars. Impact on infrastructure - schools, hospitals, streets, sewers, sanitation, etc, etc…

Crony capitalism, indeed!

When a developer(s) whining about how much money they're NOT making on OUR dime it's NOT communist to ask how "little" they're talking about!!

Please stay in Jersey!

Mar. 06 2014 10:40 AM

Is it just me or are these guests speaking in "resume-ese"?

@Rob: I think she might have been trying to suggest that people with incomes up to $110,000 might have difficulties with finding rents for "close-to-the river" that they wish to pay (have to budget for college debt and rural vacation property). I'm willing to bet that if WNYC had any serious pretensions to journalism, that follow-up stories will find the residents to be constituencies whose members might expect a telephone call about their incarceration circumstances ("Hello, is Bishop Findlayter at home?"). "Dasani" and her family will not be on the premises.

Mar. 06 2014 10:35 AM
BK from Hoboken

This is America and people are allowed to make money. If the developer seeks zoning variances then by all means the city should squeeze something out in return. But it is not up to government to determine what an appropriate profit should be. This is a capitalist country- as long as we don't see crony capitalism (giving away variances to preferred developers without any public benefit, for instance), I can't see how a developer making money is somehow doing so at your expense. This isn't like an oil company drilling on public federal lands, it's a company buying a private property and re-developing it.

Mar. 06 2014 10:32 AM
resident alien from Williamsburg

reasonable return on investment?

after rezoning the williamsburg waterfront it's a developer bonanza out there!

there were huge windfall profits to be made! donald trump would turn green of envy if he would know their ROIs!

every rent increase (arguably for the same increase of costs/maintenance) will give developers an additional windfall profit!

Mar. 06 2014 10:28 AM
Jim from Manhattan

This is a policy with a cost. That cost will be paid by the existing New York community -- increasing density, overburdening infrastructure, and creating less light and air while increasing taxes. They can cram larger new development (bigger than existing zoning laws allow) into existing neighborhoods and build higher -- increasing profits for developers. This is a wolf wearing sheep's clothing.

Mar. 06 2014 10:27 AM

What is the bottom line expected profit anticipated at the Domino development??

WITH the maximum affordable housing factored in…

No one looks at how much these developers pocket at our expense.

How much $$$!?!

Mar. 06 2014 10:26 AM
Sherie from Roosevelt Island, NYC

Carl Weisbrod lives on Roosevelt Island. He is in the only State M-L Co-op here. That building has just removed itself from State M-L program and has created a very lucrative (for those with families) privatization plan. Older folks and those with no one to "pass on" their apartments to, are getting a fairly expensive deal. There are two other buildings, Island House and Westview which are State M-L bldgs. IH is in the process of privatizing and is further along than it's sister building, WV. Westview tenants have just been informed that we may be seeing a rent hike of minimally 26% phased in from this coming October! This is an eviction plan and must be approved by HCR, (formerly DHCR). There is a 99 year lease between the City and State that states that RI will be inclusive of affordable housing. We have two new developments, neither of which is affordable and thus, breached this lease. I'd like to know, what Mr. Weisbrod has to say about protecting RI's "affordable" housing plan and if he's spoken to Mayor DiBlasio about this?

Mar. 06 2014 10:25 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Well said Amy...There is a serendipitous quirk in the NYC housing market, where landlords price 2+ bedrooms for use by roommates ($3000 for a 3br in Crown Heights - really?) This puts pressure on prices for families, looking for larger apts.

It also relegates single people to live with roommates, into their 40's because there is also a shortage of affordable single unit apts.

Hopefully, DeBlasio will revisit Bloomberg's micro-apt blueprints as well.

Mar. 06 2014 10:22 AM

G R E E E D!!!

Mar. 06 2014 10:20 AM
Caesar Romaine from Manhattan

No discussion about rent control? Maybe if you get rid of all rent control and rent stabilization there woudn't be thousands of un-rented apartements. Maybe there wouldn't be millionaires living in the Hamptons with their pied a terres in the city. Maybe if we get rid of rent control the market with do what markets always do - reach an equilibrium.

Government has created this problem. More government will not get rid of it.

Mar. 06 2014 10:18 AM
BK from Hoboken

The guest says that they aren't taking more out of the bottom line. It simply pushes up the prices for the other units. So you will have a divide among residents- some subsidizing others.
Now they demand 3 bedroom units?! Guess what- I live in Hoboken, which while not Manhattan expensive certainly isn't cheap, and many friends at my age face the same issue when they have kids. They have to move someplace cheaper to have the space necessary for a family. I haven't heard one friend demand and insist that they are entitled to subsidized housing because they chose to expand a family in a dense expensive city.
I now demand that Alpine, NJ offer me a subsidized 4 bedroom home because Alpine doesn't have enough mixed income (unless you consider billionaires mixed with millionaires).
I have no problem with development quid pro quo- developer wants zoning variances or something from the city so they have to do a give back. But te mayor is looking for 30% of every development to be subsidized? You will just cause more undue harm on people moving up the pay scale a bit like commenter Amy.

Mar. 06 2014 10:14 AM

Did that women just say that $110,000 per year is low income???? What planet is she living on????

Mar. 06 2014 10:14 AM
Jay from New York

Where are the people who will live in the 200,000 new affordable units currently living? What are the commitments being made to subsidize these units over time by the taxpayers. How is taking light, air and views from existing New Yorkers good for existing New Yorkers? How is a policy that overthrows existing zoning limits with special intrusions into neighborhoods and increases stress on infrastructure good for New Yorkers? This is giving developers bigger projects with higher profit margins from higher floors that destroy existing neighborhoods.

Mar. 06 2014 10:11 AM

A penny saved is a penny earned.
Why are we not talking more about keeping the people in their homes? What good is it building affordable housing if it requires kicking people out of their currently affordable homes? We need more discussion about stopping the wave of emptying regulated apartments.

Mar. 06 2014 10:07 AM
resident alien from Williamsburg

Why has there any development allowed in flood zone A?

The Brooklyn waterfront should have been turned into a park / flooding area!

Can anyone define "affordable housing", please!!!!

those automatic 2-4% yearly rent increases will quickly erode any affordability...

Mar. 06 2014 10:06 AM
Bobby G from East Village

What is "affordable"? and for who?

Mar. 06 2014 10:02 AM
amy from Brooklyn

It's great that more affordable units are being included in new buildings, but this plan forgets middle class New Yorkers. I make too much to qualify for any affordable program, but not enough to afford the "market rate" in these new buildings. I have roommates, but mentally cannot stand the strain of being surrounded by people all day long - where's my assistant, Mr Mayor?

Mar. 06 2014 09:48 AM

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