Friday, August 25, 2017

Incoherent social policy is a nightmare for many seeking affordable housing. Crony capitalism combined with bureaucratic incompetence leads to horror.

You won the housing lottery — to live surrounded by beggars, boozers and worse

Bronx developer Mark Stagg’s “bait-and-switch” shenanigans are making a mockery of two signature Mayor de Blasio initiatives: affordable housing and his “Turning the Tide” homeless plan.
In Thursday’s Post, Carl Campanile reported that back in 2015, Stagg flipped a Bronx apartment building into a transitional shelter facility.
Working-class residents of the Crotona Avenue building saw their dream of winning the affordable-housing lottery turn into a nightmare once Stagg’s nonprofit partner, Bronx Parent Housing Network, moved 44 homeless families into the 55-unit building in November 2015.
The rent-paying residents say they have to put up with panhandling, fighting, all-night partying and even assaults.
Stagg used his signature tactic of asking the city for a property-tax break in exchange for keeping 20 percent of units “affordable” — and then leasing the remaining 80 percent to a homeless-services nonprofit.

Tenants came forward with their tales of misery after reading Post reports on Stagg’s similar switcheroo at a Kingsbridge building.
Stagg seems to have found the key to making millions in de Blasio’s New York: Ask the city’s housing agency for tax breaks to build affordable units, then go to the social-services bureaucrats to fill your remaining apartments.
And fill them at rents far above market rate, since Team de Blasio is so desperate to site new shelters that it’s willing to pay twice what regular New Yorkers would.
Mind you, it’s the mayor’s policy to mix homeless among other residents, and some programs even seek this exact 80-20 mix.
Which is crazy: Most New Yorkers would be OK with a few “high end” ex-homeless in their building, meaning functional families down on their luck. But no one wants to live in a sea of beggars, boozers and worse.
The major scandal here isn’t Stagg’s exploitation of de Blasio’s rules, but the rules themselves.

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