"I've got nothing against high-end development," Quinn said onThursday. "In fact, this Council approved much of it. But no onecould have predicted this. Thousands of those homes never sold,left like tarnished trophies of the building boom. These vacantapartments now represent our best asset in the fight for affordablehousing."

Where developers have units they cannot sell, said Quinn, "thecity will negotiate the lowest possible price, and make these homesaffordable for middle-class families to rent or buy. Using existingfunds, we'll add thousands of new affordable homes." She adds thatthe program would add the affordable stock via units that are"already out there, just waiting for someone to call themhome."

A spokesman for Quinn tells GlobeSt.com that participation inthe program would be strictly voluntary on the part of developers.The city would also provide a "funding supplement" to help coverdevelopers' expenses through the program, although the spokesmanadds, "it wouldn't be to provide a windfall profit."

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.