Is Affordable Housing Gentrifying Brooklyn?
Matt Coyne March 1, 2011, 5:23 p.m.
Is the city’s public-private affordable housing model—the Community Preservation Corp., a group of 70 banks and insurance companies, in particular—expediting Brooklyn’s gentrification?
The Gotham Gazette seems to think so. The Gazette investigated the city’s publicly available property transaction records and found that since 2007, 65 percent of the $701 million invested in Brooklyn went to luxury development and that the CPC, which gets subsidies from the city as well as profits on luxury development, has focused its affordable housing developments in places like East New York, where, according to the Gazette, almost half of adults over 16 years of age have dropped out of the labor force and the median household income hovers around $25,000. Not to mention the crime.
This fact is being obscured because the New Domino, the always contentious former-sugar-factory-come-massive-housing-development on Williamsburg’s waterfront being developed by the CPC, is going to have 100 percent of its affordable housing within the development. What’s more, to further placate the affordable housing-niks, the CPC signed what essentially amounts to a non-binding promise to keep 30 percent of the properties below market rates, with the minimum at 20 percent. Well, that and the positive PR the CPC enjoys throughout the borough—the Gazette points to several Brooklyn community development corporations and Catholic organizations that stepped up to the plate for the CPC at meetings in August.
This should lead to an even more interesting discussion as current rent regulation, already embroiled in a heated political battle, is set to expire in June.