WASTED FUNDS

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FYI: Councilmember Alan Gerson panned yesterday the Bloomberg and Pataki administrations’ plan to generate affordable housing in his lower Manhattan district. Joined by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez, the mayor and governor unveiled their $50 million initiative earlier this week, which would use federal rebuilding dollars to spur the development of 300 new housing units that would be affordable for families with income between $50,000 and $85,000 a year. The plan’s odd definition of affordable aside, Gerson argued it “hardly scratches the surface” of housing needs. He says aid money Bonds would go much further if used to preserve existing affordable housing, by doing things like helping tenants buyout their Mitchell-Lama buildings. [7/24/03]