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Group Unleashes Red Cloud of Mortgage Death on Brooklyn

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The nasty battle over the potential Superfund designation of the Gowanus Canal?which would trigger an EPA-led cleanup of the fetid Brooklyn waterway, against the wishes of Mayor Bloomberg (who has a shorter-term plan) and the real estate developers looking to turn the canal into a new Gold Coast?just added a new chapter! Yesterday an anti-Supefund group calling itself Clean Gowanus Now! issued a press release touting some survey results that claim homeowners living near the canal will have serious problems if the Superfund designation happens:

The survey of major lending institutions—including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank and HSBC—reveals that individuals or families applying for mortgages to purchase, refinance or renovate homes in much of Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and Park Slope will find it nearly impossible to obtain approval on FHA-insured loans if the Gowanus is designated a Superfund site. This is a direct result of a new federal rule adopted by the FHA in June 2009 that sets forth a requirement that could preclude the FHA from insuring any mortgages on residential units within 3,000 feet of a Superfund site. As Carroll Gardens Diary notes, Clean Gowanus Now! is supported by developers like Toll Brothers and Africa-Israel. So while the group might not be impartial, we have to admit that its scare tactics are pretty sweet. Check out the map the group sent out to illustrate the potentially affected areas. Look out, Prospect Park!


· Clean Gowanus Now! [cleangowanusnow.org]
· "Clean Gowanus Now": An Oxymoron [Carroll Gardens Diary]