Borough President Adams and Council Member Cumbo to offer seminars for residents seeking affordable housing
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Council Member Laurie Cumbo are sponsoring a series of seminars intended to help residents seeking affordable housing learn how to apply for the City HPD lotteries through which the apartments are awarded. At present, there are over 1,100 affordable apartments under construction in downtown Brooklyn, and current City policy allows residents of the community districts in which the units are located to receive preference for half of them.
Community groups and local residents reach historic accord with New York State and developers of Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards Project
Agreement calls for delivery of 2,250 promised units of affordable housing ten years earlier than previously agreed; imposes penalties for failure to meet deadlines; creates tenant protection fund and special oversight subsidiary
Today, following weeks of intense negotiations, BrooklynSpeaks sponsor organizations and local residents announced they have reached a landmark settlement with Forest City Ratner Corporation (FCRC), the developer of the Atlantic Yards Project in Brooklyn, and the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), with the support of the City of New York.
The accord, which includes a signed agreement with ESDC and another with FCRC, ensures at least 590 units of promised affordable housing are started within the next 12 months and delivers 2,250 promised affordable housing units ten years earlier than previously agreed. It also establishes an Atlantic Yards Tenant Protection Fund and penalties for failure to meet affordable housing milestones. The settlement will also result in the creation of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the ESDC charged with overseeing compliance with all project commitments.
Under the terms of the agreement, construction on the first of the affordable units will begin by the end of the year, and all affordable apartments must be completed by May 2025.
The terms include:
- Completion of all 2,250 affordable apartments by May 2025 (with penalties for non-performance);
- Start of construction of at least 590 affordable apartments within 12 months (with penalties for non-performance); and
- Creation of an ESDC subsidiary, including locally-appointed directors, to monitor compliance with all project commitments.
In addition, through a complementary commitment by FCRC, the developer will make a contribution of $250,000 to establish the Atlantic Yards Tenant Protection Fund to provide eviction prevention services to members of the community vulnerable to displacement.
ESDC's DSEIS preserves Forest City's right to delay Atlantic Yards, ignores critical need for housing now
It is an outrage that ESDC has produced a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the Atlantic Yards project nearly five years after it was required. If properly prepared at the time of the 2009 Modified General Project Plan, it would have led to an informed discussion about the merits of the MGPP among policy makers, elected officials, community members and the board of the ESDC. ESDC waited eighteen months after the New York State Supreme Court ordered it to produce an SEIS before even releasing a draft scope of work for review. After submitting detailed comments on the draft scope a year ago, we were deeply disappointed to find in February of this year that ESDC dismissed our request that it reconcile the 15-year project delay to which it agreed in 2009 with the project’s goals of eliminating blight and providing what the 2006 FEIS accurately described as “much needed affordable housing.” We were even more troubled to discover on March 28 that ESDC would allow only 45 days for public comments on the DSEIS—a period far shorter than it had allotted for comments on either the draft scope of work or the 2006 DEIS. Given the agency’s extended delay in complying with a court order to do what it was otherwise required to do under New York State law, ESDC’s refusal to grant our request for additional time to prepare a response demonstrates again the agency’s contempt for public participation in the Atlantic Yards process, contempt it has consistently displayed since the time it declared itself lead agency in September of 2005.
While not as long as would have been appropriate for a report of this size, our review has nevertheless made clear that ESDC has not taken the opportunity to meaningfully consider strategies that would directly address the 15-year project delay that necessitated this SEIS. Instead, in an effort to cement both Forest City Ratner’s position as sole developer and decision-maker at Atlantic Yards, as well as the firm’s right to wait up to 2035 or longer to make good on its commitments to provide affordable housing, the DSEIS attempts to recast Atlantic Yards as something nearly unrecognizable from the project that was described in previous documents leading up to its prior approvals.