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Stuy Town affordable housing deal may have been exaggerated: report

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A report released by the Independent Budget Office is questioning the 2015 deal

Christian Mueller/

The city’s single largest housing preservation agreement may have been exaggerated, a new report published by the Independent Budget Office claims. In 2015, the de Blasio administration entered into an agreement with the Blackstone Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge that ensured the protection of 5,000 units of affordable housing at Stuyvesant Town. Now, the IBO claims that two-thirds of those apartments would have remained rent-regulated regardless of the deal, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the IBO’s analysis.

The developers purchased the site for $5.3 billion in 2015, and received $220 million in tax subsidies to keep the 5,000 units affordable for 20 years. The IBO measured the overall affordability in “apartment years,” hence the agreement should have established 100,000 “apartment years” of affordability. However, the IBO’s analysis shows that 64,000 of these years would have remained intact without the agreement or the subsidies, according to the New York Daily News.

In addition, only a small fraction of the apartments that would have remained affordable as part of the city’s agreement would have been affordable to low-income New Yorkers.

Both the city and some elected officials have disputed the IBO’s claims. The president of the city’s Housing Development Corporation, Eric Enderlin, who helped broker the deal at the time, called the IBO’s study an “ivory towel model,” and told the Daily News that the deal had helped Stuy Town residents save $505 million in rent.

The president of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association agreed with the city’s assessment and said that the new deal ensured that tenants didn’t have to face harassment on part of the landlord.