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BROOKLYN     Press Release Main Page

For Immediate Release: February 26, 2008

Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Affordable Housing Would Get
Four Times the Subsidy of the City’s Average Per Unit

New York, NY—The Brooklyn Daily Eagle’s Sarah Ryley is reporting today that the cost of subsidizing Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards “affordable” housing with tax-free bonds would require more than four times the funding per unit as the city’s average for all of 2007.

The Eagle article says:
Spokesmen for Ratner and project sponsor Empire State Development Corporation declined to comment on why Atlantic Yards’ affordable units require roughly four times the funding as the city’s 2007 average.
The article continues, quoting Ron Shiffman, who did have comment: .
Ron Shiffman, professor at the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment at the Pratt Institute and a former planning commissioner, did say that it would be “political suicide” for HDC to approve such costly apartments while rejecting others who could build more bang for the buck. “It becomes a real untenable argument for [HDC] to give [Ratner] priority over any other project,” said Shiffman, who opposes Atlantic Yards. .
“Forest City Ratner is getting an unaccountable, sweetheart deal from our government, at the expense of taxpayers, to build a cost-ineffective project,” said Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn spokesman Daniel Goldstein. “Our elected officials and Mr. Ratner need to explain why his ‘affordable’ housing units require quadruple the subsidy of an average ‘affordable’ unit. We believe there is no explanation for an indefensible sweetheart deal.”

The Eagle article goes into accounting detail to describe the quadrupled subsidy per unit:
[NYC's Housing Development Corporation spokesperson Neill] Coleman said last year HDC issued $659 million in bonds to finance the construction or preservation of 4,786 apartments for low, middle and moderate-income city residents, an average of $137,000 per unit.

According to Ratner’s financial projections, in 2008 the company plans to request $177 million in bonds for 359 below market-rate apartments in two towers, and the following year $344 million in bonds for 680 below market-rate apartments in three towers, an average of $501,000 per unit. Overall, $1.4 billion in bonds for 2,250 units averages $622,000 per unit.
(Emphasis added.)

DEVELOP DON'T DESTROY BROOKLYN leads a broad-based community coalition
fighting for development that will unite our communities instead of dividing and destroying them.
DDDB is a 501c3 non-profit corporation supported by over 3,500 individual donors from the community.