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Elected officials and advocates gathered at Pier A last week to call for the city to use the Battery Park City surplus for its intended purpose: affordable housing. A 1989 agreement between the mayor and the Battery Park City Authority president pledged $600 million of BPCA surplus revenues for affordable housing throughout the city, but was instead used for “general budget purposes,” as the Independent Budget Office reported earlier this year. The Battery Park City Housing Campaign, which formed after Mayor Bloomberg proposed using $325,000 from the BPCA for a stadium on the West Side, called the rally to demand that Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki and City Comptroller Thompson keep that promise. Sandy Frucher, former president and CEO of the Battery Park City Authority, had a special message for the mayor: “If you want support for waterfront development or extensions for convention centers or stadiums, you have to fulfill this deal,” he said. The Independent Budget Office projects that between 2005 and 2008 the BPCA will generate $75 million a year. According to the Battery Park City Housing Campaign, if that level of revenue continues over 20 years, the city could build or preserve at least 12,000 affordable homes. [11/19/04]

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