Fake affordable housing from dmiblog.com

Adrianne Shropshire

Calling for Development Accountability

From around the state a coalition of community, policy, labor, and environmental organizations and have come together to form the New York State Initiative for Development Accountability (NYS IDA). Frustrated by the lack of quality jobs, transparency, and community participation in development as well as the negative environmental impacts of never-ending sprawl, these groups are targeting a main engine of subsidy distribution – Industrial Development Agencies (IDA) – for reform.

IDA’s hand out hundreds of millions of dollars a year in property tax breaks to companies across the state for the promise of new jobs and ostensibly other economic development “benefits”. But from North Country to Suffolk actual benefits are often underwhelming and sometimes completely scandalous. From the promise of jobs that actually result in net jobs lost, to counties stealing businesses (and jobs) with the lure of more tax breaks than their neighbors, to businesses with a long list of labor and environmental violations receiving tax-payer money IDA’s have not lived up to their promise.

In the coming months the Development Accountability coalition will be pushing for a set of reforms at the state level that include wage standards (prevailing and living wage), local hiring, community impact reports, increased transparency, a greater role for the public in the process, increased environmental standards, clawbacks (“do what you promise or give us back the loot”), and other important measures. The inclusion of these reforms in the subsidy giveaway process would transform how development impacts the real lives of people who should be benefiting more from the economic growth of their communities.

The Senate and the Assembly must act by July to incorporate these reforms and the coalition is working in regions across the state to make sure that local communities and the elected officials who represent them are speaking in one loud voice for subsidy accountability.

Adrianne Shropshire: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 10:34 AM, Mar 10, 2006 in Community Development
Permalink | Email to Friend | Comments (8)


So is this another Acorn/WFP/Pratt type group that supports bulldozing neighborhoods if they get paid off in jobs or fake affordable housing? Just who are the players here? Subsidy accountability is one thing. Using payoffs to justify bad projects is something else entirely. Next, you’ll see Al Sharpton supporting bad projects as the “community” will benefit with jobs. Oh, he did that already. Ok, get the Bertha Lewis kissing machine going again.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2006 11:33 AM

no link?

Posted by: anony | March 10, 2006 02:02 PM

Part of the reason for moving to try to reform the process by which subsidies are doled out to development projects is to de-politicize the process. Individual communities should not have to negotiate over what should be a basic return on their tax payer investment. This grouping of organizations is about moving a subsidy accountability agenda and insuring that “development” has benefits for more than developers and their future tenants.

The polarization around these issues continues to be staggering. ACORN, the WFP, and Pratt do not advocate the bulldozing of neighborhoods and are not the source of the problem. We need to get clear on who the targets are.

We need to get out of the paradigm that seems to only present us with false choices – “bad” projects vs. jobs. We do not have to choose to play on this field. Poor and low-income communities have always been forced to make this choice – cappy jobs vs. no jobs, increased polution vs. no jobs, housing vs. jobs. Al Sharpton shouldn’t play this game but neither should anyhone else. It’s a trick bag that we will never get out of and we should know better at this point. We need to change the rules of the game and that’s what the NYS Initiative for Accountable Development is attempting to do.

Posted by: Adrianne Shropshire | March 13, 2006 01:39 PM

Dear Anonymous March 10, 2006 11:33 a.m.,

If you are willing to come out from behind your anonymity, please e-mail me so we can set up a conversation and discuss which neighborhoods you think we (the Pratt Center for Community Development) support bulldozing:

** Markham Gardens, a 360-unit public housing neighborhood on Staten Island where we were the only citywide group that supported the tenants in their efforts to prevent demolition and displacement?

** West Harlem/Manhattanville, where we have been providing several years of technical assistance to the community board in their efforts to develop a community plan and now negotiate with Columbia in order to prevent the demolition of the existing neighborhood and instead offer a future which integrates any new building into the existing community?

** The South Bronx/Bronx River, where we have worked with environmental justice groups for a decade to reclaim the neighborhood from being an environmental wasteland into an increasingly-recognized model for sustainable development?

** Sunset Park, where we are assisting UPROSE in their efforts to create a waterfront greenway that enables working class residents inland to connect to the water, while preserving the industrial businesses and jobs (rather than just a path that connects Bay Ridge to Brooklyn Heights, or a plan that imagines the demise of the manufacturing area)?

** I dont think it could be Brooklyn Atlantic Yards, since we have not taken a position.

** So I suppose you must mean Greenpoint-Williamsburg, where we supported a broad coalition of grassroots groups who did their best to negotiate with the City, and came to an agreement that they thought was reasonable & the best they could win in the real world, which not only includes significant new affordable housing & parks, but also substantially restricts allowable building heights in 80%+ of the area of the rezoning, all in exchange for allowing taller buildings on the waterfront, which almost everyone agreed was going to be developed as residential.

On the other hand, if you feel a bit guilty about derisively opposing things that working-class New Yorkers want and need, like affordable housing and good jobs, in the name of preserving the quality-of-life in your own neighborhood, or would rather just not have to wrestle with the challenging questions of how we balance creating equity and opportunity while preserving and strengthening livable neighborhoods as New York City grows by over 1.5 million new immigrants in the decades to come, I understand if you prefer to remain anonymous.

Brad Lander

Pratt Center for Community Development

Posted by: Brad Lander | March 15, 2006 06:26 AM

Of course those groups (Acorn, WFP and Pratt) are not the only groups that are making this a problem, but they are the most visible. And of course, the policies they promote do result in community bulldozing and destabilization. Don’t try to ignore or deny what they are doing. Some of the bloggers here are apologists for this stuff.

If you want to get out of the two-choice paradign, then stop enabling it. When you put jobs and fake affordable housing on the table, it creates legitimacy for the bad development.

As before, who are the players in this initiative? No one seems to know.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2006 06:40 AM

The New York State Initiative for Development Accountability is guided by a group of organizations across the state including New York City Jobs with Justice, Metro Justice in Rochester, Coalition for Economic Justice in Buffalo, Long Island Jobs with Justice, the Long Island Labor-Religion Coalition and Long Island Progressive Coalition on Long Island, Consumers Union and Mount Vernon United Tenants in Westchester, Concerned Citizens for the Environment, Hunger Action Network of NYS, Fiscal Policy Institute, Good Jobs New York, the Working Families Party, UNITE HERE!, New York State Ironworkers District Council, SEIU 32BJ, Mason Tenders District Council PAC, and UFCW Local 1500.

We are also working with the NYS AFL-CIO and the Sierra Club.

Sorry it took a couple days to get this list up.


Michael Rabinowitz

NY Jobs with Justice





Posted by: Michael Rabinowitz | March 15, 2006 11:06 AM

Gotcha nice blog here

Posted by: Samantha | March 26, 2006 09:10 PM

Check out Assembly bill 6904.

Posted by: Mark | March 31, 2006 10:45 AM


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