Still pushing for more affordability at 5 World Trade Center

Local advocates are still pushing for more affordable housing at the future residential tower at 5 World Trade Center, being built soon by Silverstein Properties and Brookfield Properties. A vote on the topic at the Public Authorities Control Board was scheduled for late June, but was pulled off the agenda by local elected officials, giving folks more time to push the Port Authority, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Empire State Development agency to make a change to the plan for the tower.

Right now, it calls for 30 percent of the roughly 1,200 units to be permanently affordable at an average of 85 percent of the area median income. Local elected officials, Community Board 1 and community advocates still oppose that plan and consider it too little affordability for a building that is on public land. The balance would be luxury market-rate housing.

The board meets every month, but no date has been set for the next vote.

“It is reasonable to expect that public agencies that control a major development site in a community where affordable housing is so scarce would work to provide significantly greater levels of affordability than we might expect from the sorts of deals that have typically been done on private development sites,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh.

Also weighing in was Congressman Dan Goldman, Councilman Chris Marte, Borough President Mark Levine and Assembly Member Charles Fall, which really makes you wonder how government works. If every elected in the area is on the same page, how is it that state agencies could be so unmoved?

“This community has fought for over two decades to build fully, deeply affordable housing that would promote diversity and give 9/11 survivors & first responders a home in the neighborhood they helped rebuild,” said The Coalition for a 100% Affordable 5WTC in a statement. “The proposed plan is unacceptable both in quantity of affordable units as well as the level of affordability. And it is unacceptable that the public agencies effectively wash their hands of any responsibility for the search for and provision of funding for this desperately needed affordable housing,”



  1. State agencies are unmoved because someone would have to pay for the affordable housing, and state tax revenues are collapsing because so many wealthy residents have moved out of state, so there is no money available.

  2. There is money available from 9/11 funds and other unused resources.

    People are moving out of the City not because of taxes, but because of the increase in cost of living, including inflation, increased ground rents and a warped housing market. Building 800+ new luxury units (on public land, no less) will only exacerbate the problem.

  3. New York built the Empire State Building in just 13 months. With 1930’s technology. Without all the computer (video game) crap that architects use today. It is now 22 years later and the World Trade Center site is not even close to being done.

    New York (0)

    Bin Laden (2)

    Talk about dishonoring the victims and the veterens who fought in the war!!!!

  4. The federal government can allocate Section 8 Vouchers and a special appropriation to pay for the plan for this unique site.

  5. Agree with Vittoria. The spiraling cost of housing, especially in Lowering Manhattan is forcing out what’s left of the middle and upper middle classes. Forget the moderate and low income families-they have been squeezed for decades. Real Estate taxes on large condos and cooperatives also out of control. The top 1% may be choosing to leave Manhattan due to income taxes, but they have a CHOICE. And IF they are leaving, why does it make any sense to build MORE luxury/market rate apartments – especially on public land – that no one CHOOSES or can afford to live in. Wake up State Agencies!

    • The spiraling cost of housing is a direct result of the singular focus on subsidized housing and rent control.

      Think of it like a weighted average. If a developer builds 100 market rate units, then the developer can charge market rents across the board and earn a market return on their investment, whatever that is. But if 30 of those units are forced below market, then the developer has to be able to charge premium rents on the remaining 70 units to earn the same market return on the same investment. This alone can work in prime locations where demand for luxury product is high enough. Then layer on complex tax incentives and why would any developer not build the subsidized/luxury mix if the location will support the luxury component and maybe they can even eek out an above-market return?

      Repeat that subsidized/luxury structure over and over for a few decades and you’re left with a market that has a small percentage of subsidized units which, by the way, once they’re rented rarely ever hit the market again because those deals are way too good to give up, a ton of new luxury product, and aging market rate apartments. Decent “normal” apartments don’t get built.

      If you want rents to come down across the board, subsidized housing is a huge part of the problem, not the solution.

  6. Like the $600 million NYS is providing for the Buffalo stadium – oh, wait, that’s not for the benefit of average people as this is. My mistake.

  7. Just build the thing already, same with 2 WTC. It’s absurd that we still have an incomplete Trade Center 22 years later. This all should have been done over a decade ago. Given the history of this site it should have been given full funding to completely rebuild with our without being filled.

  8. As a survivor of 9/11 as a member of the New York City fire department and retiring after a few years, just long enough to pass the torch. I volunteered as a docent at the Tribute Museum from its inception in 2005.

    After a terrible divorce of nearly 25 years of marriage, losing my home and having a pretty tough time, I would love the opportunity to be part of the living at 5 World Trade Center.
    Please consider me for this wonderful opportunity. I am currently living with family members and do not own any property. I don’t even have a car and that would be a good thing living in Manhattan. Feel free to contact me anytime.

    Thank you and God bless

    Ron Parker
    917 697 9477