The Bloomberg Administration made its pitch to the City Planning Commission for using public money to prepare and help build a new middle class enclave on land once envisioned for an Olympic Village.
The city is planning to enlist private developers to build 5,000 apartments on the largely vacant waterfront area just south of Long Island City.
Sixty percent of those homes would be priced for middle class families.
Assistant housing commissioner Ruthanne Visnauskas says that's because the city is losing that population.
VISNAUSKAS: This is truly a result of the high cost of housing. In fact, the high cost of housing is the No. 1 reason why people are leaving New York City.
REPORTER: In order to defray the city's cost of developing the land and installing a park, a family of four would have to earn between between $55,000 and $158,000 in order to qualify.
Housing advocates say those income limits would exclude many of the very firefighters and teachers that the community is supposed to shelter. The development would be called Hunters Point South.