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Report: Mayor's office exaggerated affordable housing claims at Stuy Town

Report: Mayor’s office exaggerated affordable housing claims at Stuy Town
An item of local interest from yesterday…in which a report by the Independent Budget Office of the City of New York (IBO) found that the amount of affordability preserved following the sale of Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village was inflated.As the Daily News put it:Mayor de Blasio’s office inflated the benefits of a deal to keep affordable housing at the massive Stuyvesant Town complex in exchange for $220 million in taxpayer subsidies, the city’s budget watchdog agency found.Per Town & Village:The IBO estimated that while the deal was supposed to preserve 100,000 “apartment years” (the equivalent of 5,000 apartments for 20 years), 64,000 of those apartment years would have remained affordable anyway through rent stabilization. This would mean the deal really only saved 36,000 apartment years, not 100,000. The report also noted that when the sale took place, just over 5,000 apartments were already renting at below-market rates due to rent stabilization.While there has been plenty of debate over just how “affordable” the 5,000 apartments that are preserved and leased through a lottery system actually are, according to the IBO, only three percent of those 100,000 apartment years are reserved for low-income households. The Blackstone Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge bought the property for $5.3 billion in 2015, and received $220 million in tax subsidies to keep the 5,000 units affordable for 20 years. Several officials have disputed the IBO report. For instance, Eric Enderlin, president of the city’s Housing Development Corporation who helped broker the deal, “said for the $220 million the city is sinking in, residents will save $505 million in rent compared with what they would have paid without the deal,” per the Daily News.“We strongly disagree with it,” he said of the IBO report. “They’ve created this kind of academic, ivory tower model … People live in these apartments, and you can’t know which apartments are going to be vacant.”You can find a copy of the 23-page IBO report here.

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