During the darkest days of economic malaise, an ingenious plan was hatched to turn stalled projects and unsold condos into affordable housing. Called the Housing Asset Renewal Program (HARP) but dubbed the "developer bailout" by critics, the program was the ultimate symbol of a New York City housing market turned on its head. But one year after HARP was launched with $20 million in pilot programs funds set aside by the City Council, not one apartment has been converted, Observer new guy Matt Chaban writes. The housing market hasn't gotten bad enough to force developers into seeking HARP protection, but a spokesman for HPD tells the Observer the agency isn't ready to quit stroking its instrument: "we're still receiving unsolicited applications from interested parties. We’ve spoken to dozens throughout the course of this process and, like I said, we are very encouraged by the response and the progress we’re making." You know what they say: practice, practice, practice!
· Broken HARP: The City's Out-of-Tune Affordable Housing Program [NYO]
· HARP coverage [Curbed]