In a heated mayoral debate last night, Republican candidate Joe Lhota attacked his Democratic rival and mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio for not doing enough to get affordable housing built at Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project.
“The reality is, Bill de Blasio makes promises over and over that he can’t keep,” Lhota said during the debate, and referred to Bill de Blasio’s support of of Forest City’s massive Atlantic Yards project, according to watchdog blog Atlantic Yards Report. “Well, it’s been two years now since the Barclays Center has opened, and they’re not even in the ground with affordable housing,” Lhota said. He suggested that de Blasio was lenient with developer Bruce Ratner because Ratner is a supporter of the candidate and a frequent contributor to his campaign.
“Bruce Ratner actually paid for his 50th birthday party,” Lhota added. In fact, the arena has been open for one year, not two, and though Ratner did help throw the 50th birthday bash, he was one of many on the committee, according to the Report.
De Blasio kept his response vague, saying that “on the question of affordable housing, I have fought for the kind of development that would maximize affordable housing for the city.” The candidate added that he was “proud of the fact that that development, when it is done, will yield thousands of units of affordable housing for the people of Brooklyn, and I’ll make sure it happens.” [Atlantic Yards Report] – Hiten Samtani