Monday, January 10, 2011

Express support for affordable housing in Manhattan

Tuesday Jan. 11 is the deadline for community comment submissions (send to on SPURA -- the largest vacant land area south of 96th Street -- a rare opportunity for the creation of affordable housing, and a part of Bloomberg's plan to create or preserve 165,000 affordable units, including 60,000 new units to be created. How many of these 60,000 new units SPURA will contribute depends in part on what our community says.

CB3 is currently working towards a plan of 800 affordable units, and a total residential ratio of 50% market-rate to 50% non-market-rate. The non-market-rate housing will comprise

20% low-income housing,
20% moderate (<$100,000 income) & middle income (<$130,000 income) housing, and
10% senior housing.

In other words, the CB plan, if built, would result in at least 1,600 residential units, about the size of one EV block of six story tenements.

Whether the city will respect the community agreement is an open question. Look at what happened to Atlantic Yards. SPURA stands in Sheldon Silver's district, and he has not yet commented.

The city, however, seems strongly committed: the city needs the revenue from the sale of the land, the residential and commercial taxes and residential disposable income that development will bring, as well as add to the legacy of the mayor, who has made affordable housing a goal. But before the city can move forward, it needs an agreement from the CB, as a first step. So now is the moment to express support for affordable housing in Manhattan.

View the current CB3 plan so far at CB3's website.
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