The Real Deal New York

Coalition opposing de Blasio’s affordable housing plan fractures

After the release of a highly critical report, groups have distanced themselves from Real Affordability for All

February 18, 2016 06:10PM

From left: Bill de Blasio and Maritza Silva Ferrell

From left: Bill de Blasio and Maritza Silva-Farrell

UPDATE: Feb. 19, 11:30 a.m.: The alliance against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan is splintering.

Real Affordability for All — the lead group charging the mayor’s plan is not affordable enough for many New Yorkers — has lost members and support after releasing a highly-critical report on the initiative in November.

Since then, around 50 organizations have separated themselves from the report titled “Profiting from a Corrupt System: How the Affordable Housing Industry Robs New York City.”

The report concluded developers of affordable housing steal construction worker wages and do not end up providing housing that is affordable, Politico reported.

Some members said they were never shown or told of the report before it was disseminated. The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, Pratt Area Community Council and Supportive Housing Network of New York quit the coalition.

Deb Howard of Pratt Area Community Council told Politico that RAFA came out with the report then reissued it only with groups that supported it. That report had inaccuracies, she said.

“It’s not that well-researched and here you’re putting it out in our name and we haven’t seen it,” Howard said. “We can’t be part of a coalition that doesn’t act as a coalition.”

Launched two years ago, Real Affordability for All is run by some advocates who were once close to the mayor. It receives some funding from trade unions at odds with de Blasio.

Maritza Silva-Farrell, the organization’s campaign director, told Politico that groups left the coalition due to pressure from the New York State Association for Affordable Housing and affordable housing developer L+M Development Partners.

Howard denied the claim, saying the organization left because of a broken process.

Critics contend the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plan doesn’t go far enough for families making less than $40,000. The mayor’s plan is before the City Council and his administration has signaled a willingness to compromise on the plan’s tiered income levels. [Politico]Dusica Sue Malesevic

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