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NEW YORK CITY-The $1.3-billion sale of Starrett City to Clipper Equity LLC, a deal that is already the subject of much criticism, has received another massive blow. This one comes from US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. Jackson toured the 14,000-resident complex yesterday and, while not officially nixing the deal, called it a threat to affordable housing and vowed to “aggressively committed to review” the sale.

“The Starrett City sale would quickly displace most, if not all, of the 14,000 residents here,” Jackson stated. “Those who leave will have nowhere to go, because of the shortage in affordable housing. So if the residents of Starrett City are displaced because they are priced out, then we confront a human tragedy: the destruction of one of the safest, most friendly communities in New York City.

“Starrett City has been a good example of how local, state and federal partners can work together to help provide housing alternatives,” he continued. “When the concept of affordable housing was first debated in Albany and Washington decades ago, this development is what those legislators had in mind.

“As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, I will aggressively review this sale and give it close scrutiny,” he concluded. “Together, we must protect one of the most affordable communities in New York City.”

Jackson will hold a news conference early this morning to make an official announcement regarding the sale. GlobeSt.com will be following the story.

Shortly after the deal was announced, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn issued a statement expressing her concerns of the sale and buyer’s track record as a real estate company. Her concerns focused on “other Brooklyn housing projects, where they have accumulated almost 8,800 open housing violations, including over 1,000 that are considered hazardous.”

Quinn said she would like to see plans to keep Starrett City affordable. “Losing nearly 6,000 apartments from the city’s affordable-housing stock would be a blow to the families of Starrett City, and would severely worsen our already desperate citywide shortage of affordable housing.”

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