Thank You, Mr. Mayor: Queens West Affordable Housing Not So Affordable

As so often happens in New York City, affordable housing isn’t always affordable. In the case of Queens West, the city’s biggest new middle-income development in 30 years, this reality is particularly ironic.

The 5,000 rental apartments slated for the 24 acres on the Long Island City waterfront are targeted at families making from $60,000 to $145,000 a year. Rents at Queens West are slated to be $1,200 to $2,500 a month.

bloomberg2 Thank You, Mr. Mayor: Queens West Affordable Housing Not So Affordable
Bloomberg: He doesn’t rent.

Thing is, however, most Queens residents, including civil servants like firefighters and cops, can’t afford those rents, according to a recent study (PDF) from the Pratt Center for Community Development. Crain’s reports this week that the study found that the median household income in Queens was $45,000 in 2005, below Queens West’s minimum income requirement. For civil servants, the median income was $56,000, also below the income requirement.

These statistics seem to buck Mayor Bloomberg’s declaration that Queens West would “provide much-needed housing for the real backbone of our city – our teachers, nurses, police officers.”

- Tom Acitelli