The Atlantic Yards project stands to receive an estimated $2.1 billion in total public subsidy, including more than $300 million in direct taxpayer dollars to date. Atlantic yards has been granted valuable City zoning overrides, allowed to bypass local review, and has been given access to the extraordinary power of eminent domain to seize homes for private profit.
So far, all Brooklyn has to show for these unprecedented public favors is one arena and a coming storm of traffic. Yet the current Atlantic Yards plan pushes the bulk of the housing and public benefits perhaps decades into the future. And the "affordable" housing announced thus far includes only a tiny number of units for working Brooklyn families.
The State must adopt a new plan for the site that delivers truly affordable housing—not in 25 years, but now, when it's desparately needed to keep Brooklyn a diverse, vibrant urban center.