East New York, Brooklyn, New York
When I saw this monstrosity being built and now nearly completed, I thought for sure that this was another 80/20 or 75/25 apartment building with incremental “affordable housing” included feigning to alleviate the housing crisis while exacerbating gentrification with the inevitable rise in rental market rate speculation/fabrication that usually follows when luxury public housing being designated mostly for upper class people get built. But holy fucking shit, ths massively dense apartment building in East New York built on Chestnut St. and Atlantic Ave. under former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing program is in all honesty actually affordable. This might be the real motherfucking 8th wonder of the world!
Of course like every other apartment building development that’s gone up to add to the tower pestilence dominating land and air, the building is ugly as shit and actually resembles a hospital, make that a mental hospital or even a correctional facility like the MCC in Sunset Park which is also in Brooklyn (which is also under threat of White hipster colonizing)
Even more miraculous about this affordable public housing tower is that it’s probably the first one that actually showed any government transparency about the rents, which actually reflect the area median income for everyone from single people to families of one or two kids, with rents as low as $200 for a studio (!!!) to a little over two grand for a three bedroom (although that might be a little steep if one parent is working). The developers and management even put up print copies of the rent values and number of units from the official New York Housing, Preservation and Development website on the makeshift walls of the near completed development site as if they are cognizant that a lot of low income earning people don’t have computers or can’t afford internet service to play the housing lottery and would rather send in their apps via snail mail.
But go figure they would find a way to fuck this up too. Because all of the copies of the HPD dept.’s bills are in different foreign languages of nationalities that don’t live in the vicinity or even the entire neighborhood, wholly trolling the predominant English and even Spanish speaking communities from figuring out how to get access to these precious abodes.
Not sure who or what demographic the city and this developer think is walking on Atlantic Avenue during the day or night. But it’s highly unlikely many people are walking on this avenue at night being that it’s nothing but a traffic conduit from North Conduit Blvd. But it is odd that they wouldn’t put any copies in English or Spanish on the walls here while they are still up. Its bad enough the city and the developers they subsidized with 421a tax breaks built most of the new housing for people who don’t need to play a lottery to get an apartment or even rich people that exist in NYC at all. This looks like its more designed for recent expat refugees from broken foreign lands being ruled under despots or for people who came on a HB1 visa.
Another fucked up thing about “Chestnut Crossing” is that this was also subjected to absurd marketing to conjure hipness and a desired demographic just like every other overdeveloped housing to apply by giving this area an ersatz brand (most notorious being the “Piano District” in the South Bronx) by calling it the “ENY Automotive District” .
Even though Whitey’s auto parts and garage is a few blocks down and takes up an entire street in addition to all the chop shops and tire yards in this town, nobody ever called East New York the Automotive District. Never. Ever.
Here’s another thing that’s wholly off about this and how fucking clueless the people who are responsible for the marketing behind this is, on the simulation of the completed apartment building (scheduled to open this July) and the speculated vibrancy and brightness conjured in the depiction it has traffic going east on Atlantic Ave but traffic on that side goes west towards Manhattan.
If there is anything true about that ludicrous ad is that it acknowledges that the hyper dense luxury public housing tower that’s going up across the street that will cover a ton of square feet from Chestnut St. to Euclid Ave. is still going to be a vacant lot for years to come.
About the “affordable housing” development next door, the simulation rendition for the completion of this monstrosity is even more ludicrous and quite heinous, for it re-imagines East New York with not only the displacement of people of color but also the disappearance of the elevated J train tracks.
And this is why New York City can’t have nice things like having a roof over your head and having the ability to save money simultaneously. Because of fucking geeks that work for real estate developers and bureaucracies that have no idea what the towns they are building on and the people they claim (and feign) they are building for. Of course even worse are the neoliberal dweebies befouling the social media platforms praising all this hyper-density hyper-development to the skies and influencing housing policies that are making neighborhoods more expensive (and even more shadowy and darker), which will not change no matter how cheap the Chestnut Crossing apartments are.
Plus there’s still way too many housing insecure people playing the housing lotteries and the odds are getting higher to score a unit and it wasn’t long ago when de Blasio’s housing dept. was juking the lottery to segregate against minorities while “affordable apartments” were being listed in the $2,000 range for studios and $2,300 for one bedrooms. So even when people start moving into Chestnut St., there probably still will be encampments in the grassy knolls at the end of the Belt Parkway intersecting with the Atlantic right across the street.
Because living in and for the city, this stupid dystopian overvalued crime ridden city with a homeless and rent burdened population the size of Delaware, there will always be a thin line between affording housing and access to housing, no matter how much more the city builds.