The Real Deal New York

Tenant groups call for shutdown of nonprofit lobbying for de Blasio housing plan

Coalition says Campaign for One New York-connected group leverages “dirty developer money”

February 24, 2016 09:03AM

Mayor Bill de Blasio

A tenant and labor coalition blasted a recently set-up nonprofit that is to lobby on behalf of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan before its City Council vote.

The 19 groups called for the shutdown of United for Affordable NYC.

“We call on you today to shut down United for Affordable NYC immediately, rather than continue to leverage dirty developer money to fight against the real affordable housing needs of low-income communities,” the coalition’s letter to de Blasio states.

Set up just weeks ago, the nonprofit started with seed money provided by developer-funded Campaign for One New York, another non-profit with close and controversial ties to de Blasio, Politico reported.

Groups such as Community Action for Safe Apartments, Community Voices Heard, Greater NY LECET, Painters District Council 9 and Tenants & Neighbors signed the letter.

Between March and June last year, Campaign for One New York received $597,000 from real estate interests, and since it started in early 2014, the nonprofit has taken in more than $1 million from real estate developers, many of whom have projects underway and needed the administration’s approval for their projects, Politico reported.

In the second half of 2015, Campaign for One New York took in four donations worth $485,000, the majority from billionaire George Soros, and the union Unite Here (previously run by de Blasio’s cousin). Developers DDG Partners and TF Cornerstone were the other two donors.

A Campaign for One New York spokesperson wrote to Politico that “the majority of its funds over the past six months from progressive groups and labor unions who represent the very families that would benefit from the mayor’s plan to require all developers to build affordable housing for the first time ever in every city rezoning.”

It is unclear how much United for Affordable NYC has in funds.

The Real Deal looked at de Blasio’s allies in the real estate community in the February issue of its magazine. [Politico]Dusica Sue Malesevic