|Print this story||Permalink|
Representatives from the City Planning and city Housing departments presented plans for a zoning text amendment that gives developers incentive to build affordable housing Monday during a meeting of the Borough Board.
Howard Slatkin of City Planning said the so−called Inclusionary Housing Program proposal gives developers a 33 percent floor−area ratio bonus in exchange for making 20 percent of units permanently affordable.
The affordable units could be either located within the new construction, in a building within the same community district or within a 1⁄2 mile radius of the additional floor−area ratio site, he said.
While the program has been in effect for R10 zoning districts since 1987 and an expanded version since 2005, the current proposal is up for review because the permanently affordable housing provision is a new idea.
In Queens, the proposal is applicable along Queens Boulevard in Maspeth and Woodside, downtown Jamaica, Hunters Point South and Dutch Kills, Slatkin said.
Jenna Breines, deputy director of the Inclusionary Housing Program for the Housing Department, said the program is similar to Mitchell−Lama housing except that developers cannot opt out and there is no sunset clause.
“We want to provide developers with as many ways to work with us as possible,” she said of why the program was developed. The program “provides us another way of preserving the city’s affordable housing stock over the long term.”
A PowerPoint presentation prepared by city Housing gave the example of a family of four with an annual income of $53,556 as ideal for affordable housing. According to the agency’s calculations, the family would be eligible to purchase a $150,000 apartment.
Community Board 5 Chairman Vincent Arcuri was skeptical that that was the case, arguing that the apartment would actually cost $200,000.
Breines said the agency anticipates units will be built using additional state or city subsidies.
“I don’t know where you’re gonna get this $50,000 subsidy from,” Arcuri said, referring to the state of the economy.
But the plan was applauded by Borough President Helen Marshall, who presided over the Borough Board meeting.
“I’m delighted to see this because there are many young people in Queens who would like to have an apartment,” she said, calling affordable housing “definitely something that we need. We need to have apartments that people can afford.”
A 60−day comment period on the proposal from community boards, borough presidents and borough boards ends April 27. The plan then goes to the City Planning Commission for review, followed by the City Council. City Planning expects the proposal to be adopted by August.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
|Print this story||Permalink|
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.