On Friday, Hunters Point civic leader Brent O’Leary, who has already declared his intention to run for City Council in three years, stood alongside neighbors at Joe Sabba Park to denounce new affordable housing units that he said are not truly affordable.
The Sunnyside Point, being built at 47-16 Greenpoint Avenue, will contain three affordable apartments. But a one-bedroom will cost nearly $2,300 a month, which O’Leary said is too high for working-class residents in the district.
The minimum household income required to eligible to apply for the apartment is $77,178.
“Right now, there are thousands of Sunnyside and Woodside residents who are deeply afraid of being priced out of their own neighborhood,” O’Leary said in a prepared statement, “and by claiming that $2,300 a month should be considered affordable is a slap in the face to all the people who call this neighborhood home.”
O’Leary called for city legislation to change the way affordability is calculated for rent-stabilized units. Right now, the formula used to calculate the area median income (AMI) includes the median income of residents who live in Manhattan, Rockland and Putnam counties.
“This is the most effective way we can put a stop to the growing wealth inequality and massive displacement that western Queens has been facing over the past ten years,” O’Leary said. “It is not acceptable for the city to use our money to price us out of our neighborhood.”