The Real Deal New York

Alicia Glen calls council members “not that smart” about affordable housing

Deposition part of lawsuit challenging city’s affordable housing policy
February 06, 2018 09:00AM

Alicia Glen (Credit: Getty Images)

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen is not very impressed with how much council members know about affordable housing.

In a deposition that challenges the city’s affordable housing policy, Glen referred to members of the City Council as “not that smart” when it comes to understanding how the policy actually works, according to Politico.

The lawsuit centers on the “community preference” part of the city’s affordable housing policy, which reserves half of units subsidized by the city for residents of that community district. The plaintiffs maintain that this policy supports racial segregation, and the city says that the plaintiffs’ attorneys should not be allowed to depose councilmembers as part of the suit.

When one of those attorneys asked Glen to name specific issues councilmembers don’t understand, mentioning 421a and housing finance as possible examples, she replied, “All of the above. They are often extremely confused and ill-informed and not that smart.” She later noted that they would “be here for a month if you wanted a list of every time a city councilperson didn’t understand what was going on in a particular project or a rezoning.”

Glen apologized for the remarks in a statement on Monday, telling Politico that she is “proud of what my team and council members have accomplished together, and I respect their role and perspective.”

The City Council blocked at least six land use projects during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first term over concerns that they did not provide enough affordable housing and allowed for too much density. [Politico] – Eddie Small