Survey says: Nabe wants low-rent units

The developer who wants to build 2,200 units of luxury housing on the Domino Sugar refinery site just north of the Williamsburg Bridge is using its “affordable housing” component — about 660 new units — to promote the project in the community.

The Community Preservation Corporation is touting the results of a survey it took this summer to gauge support for its $1.5-billion project in a series of print advertisements that started running in local publications last month.

“We know affordable housing is crucial to Williamsburg, because you told us so,” the company says in its ads.

Indeed, three out of five Billyburgers and Greenpointers told the pollster hired by CPC that a “lack of affordable housing” was the most-important issue facing their neighborhoods. The 10-question phone survey included input from 500 residents and was conducted for CPC by Global Strategy Group in June. The survey had a margin of error of 4.38 percent (key findings, see chart).

One main conclusion stood out, said the company’s Senior Vice President Susan Pollock: “The vast need for affordable housing in the neighborhood cannot be overstated.”

“The affordable housing proposed will focus on the needs of those in the immediate neighborhood, many of whom are the friends and families of those who worked at Domino and elsewhere along Williamsburg’s industrial waterfront,” she added.

Still, almost one out of four people surveyed said they opposed CPC’s plans to build nine high-rise towers on the site. That’s about the same percentage of people who said they prefer smaller buildings without affordable housing to larger buildings with the below-market-rate units.

CPC has also emphasized that its “affordable” housing is more affordable than other developers’.

Of the 660 below-market units, 100 would be reserved for families of four earning up to $21,000 a year, 330 for families earning up to $42,000, and another 100 rentals for low-income seniors. The remaining 130 units would be available to families earning up to $90,000.

“That level of affordability exceeds what is required and is intended to reach lower income segments of the community,” Pollock said.

More from Around New York