Coalition calls out mayor for more affordable housing
by Jess Berry
Aug 13, 2014 | 509 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As developers continue to push for the construction of luxury apartment complex Astoria Cove, the massive coalition Real Affordability for All has continued to fight for 50 percent affordable housing in the project.

On Wednesday, August 6, the City Planning Commission held a hearing on the proposed waterfront complex. That same day, Real Affordability for All, a coalition comprised of numerous organizations across the city, sent an open letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration calling for more affordable housing in Astoria Cove.

Alma Realty, the developers of Astoria Cove, have proposed that 345 of the 1,723-unit site be affordable housing, which adds up to 20 percent affordable housing.

Members of Real Affordability for All say this is not enough, proposing that 50 percent of all new apartments being constructed in the city be affordable for lower-income and moderate-income families.

“You have made the fight against inequality a centerpiece of your administration, but to live up to that commitment it’s time to elevate real affordability as a top priority for your housing agenda in the city,” the coalition wrote in its letter to the mayor.

“Astoria Cove is a great place to start,” the letter reads. “It should be a new progressive model of real affordability for struggling families, rather than a continuation of the worst of Bloomberg’s luxury development.”

The coalition asked that de Blasio not continue with the “Brooklynization” of the city’s neighborhoods, which they defined as “more overpriced condos and runaway gentrification.”

“Many New Yorkers are at a breaking point, and barely surviving,” they wrote. “If Astoria Cove becomes just another glitzy playground for the wealthy elite, it will be a huge step backward — the opposite of true progress.”

Borough President Melinda Katz has already disapproved of the proposal. Next the proposal will be reviewed by the City Council, which make the final decision on the project.

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