Why are we forming this coalition?
After September 11, 2001, New Yorkers made clear that the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan must include construction of desperately needed affordable housing. However, despite tens of billions spent and promises made by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), not one new affordable housing complex was built. 5 World Trade Center represents the last chance to make good. Instead, the LMDC and the Port Authority are seeking to authorize an 80-story luxury residential tower on public land at the site of the former 40-story Deutsche Bank building.
For over a decade, led by Lower Manhattan housing advocate Tom Goodkind, local residents advocated for the last remaining World Trade Center lot to be fully affordable and include housing opportunities for September 11 survivors and their families, first responders, and seniors. September 11 had many repercussions -- including loss of life, illnesses, and psychological effects -- that placed many New Yorkers and local residents in dire need of affordable housing. The 25% ratio pledged for this building is not sufficient in light of the need.
Long-time moderate and middle income residents are being forced from their homes. Their children, who survived and grew up in the aftermath of the terrorist attack and helped rebuild Lower Manhattan, cannot afford to live in the area. Much of the new luxury housing is not even succeeding. Many towers are unfilled or unfinished, including 125 Greenwich Street across the street from 5 World Trade Center, which entered foreclosure.
The proposed development with Silverstein Properties and Brookfield Properties, who have already received massive subsidies, does not reflect the best interests of the city or the input of the community. The LMDC was created in November 2001 specifically to dispense federal funding to rebuild Lower Manhattan. The lack of transparency and direct community-engagement by LMDC contradicts their published mission of an 'open, inclusive, and transparent planning process in which the public has a central role in shaping the future of Lower Manhattan.'
5WTC should be 100% affordable housing, including preference for the responders and survivors, and their children, of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Additional community representatives should be included on any Community Advisory Committee (CAC).
The community advisory process should include regular meetings and be transparent and open to the public.