The Debate Over “Affordability”

The same day ACORN’s Bertha Lewis comes out with a defense of Atlantic Yards, the Mayor announces a final plan for the $130 million Housing Trust Fund supported by the Battery Park City Authority. Lewis reiterates that Atlantic Yards will serve moderate- and middle-income folks –60 percent of its affordable rental units will go to families earning more than half of the area median household income–the civil servants and teachers and police officers whom she thinks face the most unaddressed housing shortages.

But the Mayor today indicated that the city had different priorities: the majority of that trust fund–$70 million–is going to “hard to reach populations,” including the very poor (those earning less than 30 percent of the median, who will not be served at all by Atlantic Yards), and households with moderate income (earning 60 to 80 percent of the median, who will receive just about 10 percent of the 2,250 affordable units at Atlantic Yards).

-Matthew Schuerman