Local legislators and C.B. 1 activists criticize 5 W.T.C. project affordability 2023

Politicians, Community Board 1, and advocates criticized the state’s plan to create 5 World Trade Center without ensuring affordability.

State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Congressmember Dan Goldman, Assemblymember Charles Fall, Borough President Mark Levine, Councilmember Christopher Marte, and Community Board 1—all of whom represent the 5 World Trade Center site—as well as the Coalition for 100% Affordable 5 World Trade Center unanimously opposed Empire State Development, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s May 3 announcement that they would

The organizations suggested a 1,200-unit skyscraper with 300 subsidized and 900 market-rate flats. They are now offering either the original idea or an alternative with 360 income-restricted flats but many fewer affordable homes.

The community board and activists have urged the authorities to make the proposed building more affordable.

State Senator Kavanagh said it is unacceptable that these entities are seeking to go forward with a public-approvals agenda without agreeing on how to enhance affordability at the site. “It is reasonable to expect that public agencies that control a major development site in a community where affordable housing is so scarce would work to provide significantly greater affordability than we might expect from the sorts of deals that have typically been done on private development sites. I am saddened that these agencies are rejecting that assumption and strongly encourage them to reconsider.”

“The current housing crisis in New York City already leaves far too many households unable to pay rent and places huge financial strain on the most vulnerable families,” Congressmember Goldman stated. “Affordable housing is vital in the 9/11 area. 9/11 survivors and government authorities in Lower Manhattan have repeatedly urged 5 WTC’s affordability. This project must wait until sufficient progress is made toward that goal.”

“The surrounding community has made its voices heard in making sure there are affordable units,” stated Assemblymember Fall. “Providing real affordable housing for 5 World Trade Center gives us the unique opportunity to give back to 9/11 responders, survivors, and their families who sacrificed so much. I reject any arrangement that doesn’t emphasize 5 World Trade Center’s affordability with my government and neighborhood partners.

Borough President Levine remarked, “With 5 World Trade, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide a significant amount of affordable apartments in Lower Manhattan. I agree that this initiative must go, but I don’t think we should limit it to a year to optimize affordability.

Local legislators and C.B. 1 backers lament lack of affordability in 5 W.T.C. project.

Empire State Development and the development team must delay approvals and engage with stakeholders to secure money to maximize affordable housing in this project. They will have the assistance needed for a successful development.”

Councilmember Marte said it was unacceptable for E.S.D. to pursue permissions for 5 World Trade Center without addressing the overwhelming need for increased affordability on site. “There is no reason to move forward while the state has failed to answer our call to find necessary funds for this essential project.

We don’t want greater affordability, just a sincere commitment from E.S.D. to locate the funds before approval. I believe state and city tools can make lower-income units far more reasonable, and I will continue to back the community’s request for a genuinely affordable 5 World Trade.”

“C.B. 1 doesn’t take rain checks for affordable housing,” stated Community Board 1 chair Tammy Meltzer. E.S.D. is shrugging its shoulders by postponing the conversation. We will not give up and want the state to match our determination to find a solution before proceeding.”

The organization stated, “The Coalition for 100% Affordable 5 World Trade Center is appalled that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation would put forth a plan that ignores the community’s needs. Over two decades, this community has worked for completely, profoundly affordable housing that promotes diversity and gives 9/11 survivors and first responders a home in the area they helped restore.

The suggested proposal lacks affordable housing and affordability. It is intolerable that governmental bodies essentially abdicate responsibility for finding and supporting badly needed affordable housing.”

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