Op-Ed: A Word To The Wise On 960 Franklin Avenue Rezoning

Assemblyman Walter Mosley has come out supporting the largest residential luxury complex being proposed at 960 Franklin Avenue in the second most affordable community in Brooklyn: Crown Heights South.

Alicia Boyd

This project is in the environmental impact stage where “binding” legal agreements will be produced to offset the negative consequences of the development. Due to the fact that luxury development in low to moderate income communities creates displacement, the 50%  “affordable” units being proposed should be examined to ensure that they are not rent burden apartments.

Rent Burden  – over 30% of a family’s total income.

Severe Rent Burden – over 50% of a family’s total income.

Affordable units are targeted to create non-rent burden apartments.

Average Median Income (AMI) Affordable Income Bands range ($31,390 to $172,095) for a family of four.

Crown Heights South AMI is $40,000.

The developer is applying for two programs: Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) Option 2 and Federal Programs (HPD/HUD)

MIH Option 2 – Requirements

  1. The average income of all of the apartments must be at 80% AMI ($83,440) income.
  2. Maximum of three income bands may be used.
  3. Can not use more than 130% of AMI ($135,590) income band.
  4. Must be 30% of all residential units being built.

One Income Band Scenario.

All Apartments have 80% of AMI ($83,440) – Severe Rent Burden

Two Income Bands Scenario

17% of the apartments will have 50% of AMI ($52, 150)- Rent Burden

12% of the apartments will have 120% of the AMI (125,160)-Severe Rent Burden

Three income Bands Scenario

12% of the apartments – 50% of AMI ($52, 150)- Rent Burden

10% of the apartments – 80% AMI (83,440) – Severe Rent Burden

8% of the apartments – 130% AMI (($135,590) – Severe Rent Burden

HUD/HPD requirements

20% of all apartments must be at 50% the AMI.

As the pie chart depicts, the developer can double dip, by using the same apartments to quality for two programs.

All four of these legal scenarios would create from 70 to 80% luxury apartments because the additional 20% “affordable” have no binding agreements attached to it., the developer simply has to choose an affordable income band i.e. $172,095. 100% of the apartments would be rent burden and/or severe rent burden to the Crown Heights community.

It is imperative that during this time, Assemblyman Mosely, follow City Councilman [Carlos] Menchaca’s lead in Sunset Park by analyzing the “affordable” scenarios and present binding agreements with the developer to ensure these “affordable” units actually benefit the community.

For example, get low, low-income bands for both families and senior citizens,  a percentage goes to the homeless population, and ensure that the developer can not double or triple dip on these categories.  This will help to offset the negative impacts this massive development is proposing in our community, ensure that any agreements are binding upon the developer and help to produce non-rent burden apartments for the residents who reside in his district.

Alicia Boyd is the founder of The Movement to Protect the People – MTOPP.org. Contact her at [email protected]

Editor’s Note: It is the policy to post nearly all op-eds it receives. The views do not reflect the views of KCP.

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