The Real Deal New York

Bedford-Union Armory’s affordable units will go to white families: report

March 16, 2017 09:10AM

Bedford-Union Armory

A community group is questioning the affordability of apartments planned for Crown Heights, claiming that a majority of the “low-income” units will go to white families.

New York Communities for Change released a report that shows that most of the affordable units at the Bedford-Union Armory will go to tenants who are making roughly $90,000 a year for a family of three, the New York Daily News reported. More than half — 58 percent — of Brooklyn families who bring in more than $75,000 a year are white, 26 percent are black and 12 percent are Latino.

“White families are far more likely to qualify for the ‘affordable’ units at the armory,” the group wrote. “Simply put, the project is not for African-Americans and Latino residents of the area. It’s for white newcomers who earn higher incomes and can afford to pay more to live there.”

The armory has drawn the ire of community members who argue the project should be turned into a community land trust instead of controlled by a private developer. The project’s developer, BFC Partners TRData LogoTINY, plans to convert the 542,000-square-foot former military building into 330 affordable and market-rate rentals, along with community space. There will be 177 low- and moderate-income units. Thirty percent of the project’s units will be permanently affordable.

BFC recently brought Crown Heights nonprofit Local Development Corp. on as a partner on the project, though it too has generated controversy for the unusual payment structure it provides to its executive director, Caple Spence. [NYDN]Kathryn Brenzel