Thursday, December 25, 2014

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The Call Blog: After Domino Deal, A Renewed Focus On Affordable Housing

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The devil is in the details. Until I see a dollar figure attached to the "affordable" apartments, I will hold off on an opinion on this project. Developers don't give away space in New York City. What's affordable to Two Trees, the Mayor, and Council lawmakers may be two paychecks for most.

The City Planning Commission approved a deal today that requires 110,000 square feet of affordable housing be built at the former Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn. The developer of the mixed-use site on the Williamsburg waterfront agreed to set aside 700 units for low-income and moderate-income housing.

2,300 apartments are planned for the site, which is expected to include 55-story towers. The City Council is expected to approve the plan, which has the support of Mayor de Blasio. He said the agreement is a major first step toward achieving his goal of building and preserving 200,000 affordable apartments in the next decade.

How much affordable housing is available where you live? What do you consider affordable in New York City? Are the new developments along the Brooklyn waterfront and in other neighborhoods a welcome addition to the city? Are elected officials doing enough to preserve apartments that most New Yorkers can afford?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

I would like to know why there is no affordable housing for middle class people in Queens, Middle Village, Ozone Park, Kew Gardens, Rego Park.


Alan who called earlier is dead wrong about no incentive to build affordable housing. the problem is that these days owners expect 200% profit on real estate investments, a decent profit is not enough any more. Housing is not for investing, it's to provide roofs over peoples heads.

meryl from manhattan

In order to make houses affordable is to spread the costs through multiple tenants. Zoning laws prohibited landlords from renting the extra livable spaces they have. Utilities are getting more expensive, this will be trickled down onto tenants. Young professions can not even allow to share rental with more than 2 unrelated. This needs to change. Basement needs to be able to rent out legally this helps landlords to have more tenants and able to lower rents for everyone..and we all gets cheaper rent..a win win solution.


The problem is: Rent always goes up & prices go sky high because - lets face it - NYC is a location for wealthy people from all over the world. But guess what? If people can afford to move here they can afford to move out. It's the trickle down affect. The New Yorkers who are here 2,3 if not more, generations struggle. Many people who are city/state employees move to other tristate areas pumping economies in other states. Also, the deplorable schools also churn out perpetual minimum wagers, which as we all know is impossible to sustain lives, let alone rent.


Lack of affordable housing is a function of supply. Increase the supply significantly enough and rents go down - but neither politicians or the private sector want real public competition in the city's housing market. Mayor Di Blasio is only scratching at the surface and will likely contribute little to solving the problem as long as the solution is seen within the box of the private sector.


Even here on the UES things are changing: condos having gone up or going up on key corners and loss of local businesses. Less of a neighborhood feeling. East 86 St has become a strip mall.


I think the guidelines for affordable housing should include the middle class. Who can afford the $2,500 -$3,000 a month rent? We can never get a break because we make too much, which is a ridiculous statement. We work hard, every day but we cannot afford anything nice. Middle income doesn't buy what it used to and wages have not kept up with rents. Affordable housing is part of income equality.


I don't why we African people don't get low income? For example we apply like 5 times they denied us because our income hight or lass I make $550 a week they calculate to $679 a week I don't know.


The affordable housing trap is BS. Bloombergs tactics are still in effect. I worked the housing lottery . The lottery system for housing is BS and a trap. Either you dont' have enough children or enough income to afford the unit. This is a trap!!!!! Bloomy-tactics are still somehow in effect he wants the city rich and poor. There is no affordable housing!!! I am a real estate broker. This is a mess! This is a trap! At this point, the president needs to come in.

Tami the broker

I hope the affordable housing planned for the Domino site is better than that at Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards. developer tend to make promises they do not keep, with no
repercussions whatsoever.


Essentially what about the real working class? . . . Affordable Housing in NYC, THAT'S "guaranteed, long-term affordable housing" and for how long?

The neighborhood I've resided in (LES) for years -- people didn't want to reside or even walk in during broad daylight not long ago -- is now being gentrified to a ridiculous degree as is the rest of the City . . . I love NYC but it's rapidly outpricing itself (beside, it's NO longer that nice regardless of what you're able to afford) . . . Good luck to the developers and even better luck to all who can afford to stay here . . . Thank You.

Lower East Side

It is time to end luxury de-control of rent stabilized apartments in NYC, particularly in buildings that receive city real estate tax benefits. The city's middle class need somewhere to live. The City cannot afford to build its way out of the affordable housing crises, it needs to preserve the affordable housing stock that it has.

Dawn from Stuyvesant Town

Dear John,

When will elected officials and people wake up and smell the coffee?

There are more people moving to New York City every day, and the city is slowly becoming a sardine can! This is the cause of conjusted streets, over-crowded sidewalks, and crowded subways every three minutes. Lets face it, the city is running out of room and over-development is destroying our city.

Clifton, Staten Island

Hello my name is Kelly, Why is it that working people can not get an apartment with the so called affordable housing because of their credit score. Even though people work. They cannot get an apartment because of their credit. So am I homeless with a job because my credit score isnt an 850? Who over 25 has great credit. Living in NY?

I met a nurse on the streets the other day. She is living in a shelter and was ashamed to admit it. I ended walking with her to her place of work with her to hear her story. She works with the elderly mostly. She cannot afford housing as rents have sky rocketed and nurses are struggling to get by with closures of hospitals etc.,

She is a lottery to try to get affordable housing, is a hard worker has several children and is a good citizen.

The system is seriously broken.
Saije: UWS

I've been here for thirteen year and the process of getting an "affordable" apartment is almost impossible. The income thresholds are incredibly narrow, the paper work is overwhelming and the process is setup for politicians and their family and friends. Even so, the trains, streets, parks etc. are so crowded that the city has become unbearable. More housing is just going to make it worse. That's why I'm moving to Colorado on April 1 and I can't wait.

Jeff in the LES

There is plenty of affordable housing in the other 99.9% of the country. 'Affordable' housing actually makes housing less affordable by restricting actual market availability. Setting aside housing for low income people undercuts the tax base. If every apartment went market rate tomorrow rents would drop not rise. It is dad that not everybody can afford in the greatest city in the world but that is just a fact of life.


Affordable housing???? What ever happened to low income housing? Blomberg was promising "affordable" housing throughout his tenure. All we saw were luxury houses being built everywhere. AFFORDABLE for Blomberg, Trump, Gates etc. You have to listen real hard when politians speak. The new speaker endorses luxury buildings being built on NYCHA grounds. That will cause NYCHA to raise the rents forcing more native New Yorkers to the streets. Wise p New York.

Upper East side

Affordable should be available to people who earn less than 125K.

Michael from Clinton Hill Brooklyn

Heck no there isn't enough affordable housing . Why is the rent so damn high? Is it to accommodate these "gentrifiers"? In jackson heights a crappy 1bedroom with pest goes for 1500. NYCHA waiting list is 10years .the "affordable housing lottery " is a mess I've been applying to the lotteries for over 4 years and I've never been selected for anything. This is why the shelters are full because people see no way of getting an affordable apartment unless if they go through the shelter system.

jackson heights

News of this deal leaves me feeling vaguely dismayed and asking the following questions:

1. Is this how "affordable housing" will continue to be developed -- that is, let developers build ever taller buildings of their own choosing on the Brooklyn/Queens waterfront in exchange for "affordable housing?"

2. Whatever happened to the notion of "city planning?" I had a vision of the Mayor bringing in the best and the brightest to plan new communities all over NYC, not just on the Brooklyn/Queens waterfront, and not just high-rise. I know that many architects interested in better cities are interested in these issues. If NYC won't take the lead on this, then maybe there are foundations that would like to bring in those talented people and pursue it. Personally, I am not interested in letting the future of my city be decided by the likes of TwoTrees, Related, etc.

3. When is somebody going to define what "affordable housing" means and who is eligible for it?

Ellie - Turtle Bay

Hi John

There's no affordable housing in my area on the UWS, i get a rent decrease because of my situation. I'm glad Mayor Diblasio is building affordable housing for the low income families so they'll be moved out of the shelters a shelter is no place for kids to stay in because they can't concentrate on their schooling. More affordable housing needs to be built instead of the high rise condo towers for the rich people


How about instead of reinventing the wheel on this issue! De Blasio and his side kick! reinstate the model of housing for low and middle income new is and was called Mitchell Llama.... Some were rentals and some were limited profits sharing co-ops...
He should ask & get on board with Gale Brewer, a true advocate for this housing!

Mitchell Llama RESIDENT!!!!!!

Hi John,

We continue to hear the same promises from every politician during their campaigns about affordable housing and in my estimation the subject remains the same with the exception of the names changing. Why does this DeBlasio always refer to the completion of projects as being completed 10 years down the road. Off course the politicians are not doing enough to lower the rents which were a gift from Ed Koch a long time ago. Everyone knows that he gave the city away to the landlords. Yet he had a bridge named after him and no one uses his name. This is another thing that must be stopped and that is re-naming all the different venues of bridges, tunnels , etc. after others and therefor taking away all of our landmarks and history. When do the rents get lowered? Also why yet another waterfront project? I thought since Irene and Sandy all of these building problems we have had throughout these devastating storms were suppose to teach us a lesson. I feel such comfort in knowing that the city council and DeBlasio are all on the same page with this project = very comforting indeed. So once again we have the speaker and the mayor on the same page. Whatever this mayor asks for he gets it and it all looks legit.


Thank you John,


If we could get the government out of regulating the housing business, the cost of living would go down tremendously. Look at the mess government has created in attempting to operate low rent housing? It's a disaster.

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