It's Only a NIMBY War Now
On housing, Yuh-Line Niou and Dan Goldman align
If, indeed, Yuh-Line Niou attempts a third party bid against Dan Goldman in the 10th Congressional District, there will be much chatter about how radically different the two candidates are. One is a Levi Strauss heir, a white male with no electoral experience. The other is an Asian American assemblywoman, a Squad aspirant. Goldman’s base is the wealthiest voters of the district, in downtown Manhattan. Niou represents Chinatown and appeals to liberals in Brooklyn, especially Park Slope and Windsor Terrace. Goldman is an ex-prosecutor who wants to toughen the state’s bail laws. Niou was a supporter of the defund the police movement.
Yet the two Democrats are almost perfectly aligned on one of the key issues impacting New York City. Despite the real estate industry donations pouring into Goldman’s coffers and Niou’s professed support for building more affordable housing, both are in firm opposition to a Habitat for Humanity development that would create new housing for low-income senior citizens. Haven Green, a 7-story LGBTQ-friendly housing project in lower Manhattan, was slated to provide 123 units of housing, with some set aside for the formerly homeless. Unlike other affordable housing developments across the city, Haven Green is genuinely targeted to the city’s working-class and poor. The units are earmarked for seniors earning between $18,774 to $37,548 per year. If built, the project will also include retail and public green space.
Niou has joined a lawsuit to stop the development, in part because it will be built atop the Elizabeth Street Garden, a public green space. She also argued the project isn’t affordable enough because, after 60 years, it will be open to privatization. “I will say that the plans have gotten better due to the fact that we pushed back. I think that it could still get better. If the city really wanted it to be affordable, they could say that it will remain affordable for 99 years and that indicates an intention to make it permanent,” she told HuffPost in June.