The developer behind Astoria Cove, possible future home of the $2,700/month "affordable" apartments, is raising the rent on hundreds of rent-regulated units it owns in Crown Heights. According to the Times, Alma Realty is charging renters up to 15% more in their lease renewals, which in some cases is more than is legally permitted.

Crown Heights Councilmember Laurie Cumbo also told the paper that Alma underpays its black and Hispanic workers. “They’re demonstrating irresponsible development," Cumbo said at a protest yesterday.

Alma initially agreed to make 20% of the 1,723 apartments in Astoria Cove "affordable," according to a zoning rubric that may designate a $2,700/month one-bedroom as part of those units.

Given the dire need for affordable housing—and that 20% was Mayor Bloomberg's preferred percentage—some advocates are calling for 30%. Others, like the Real Affordability for All Coalition, are demanding that 50% of the units be affordable.

This percentage would not spell doom for developers: Essex Crossing, a $1.1 billion development on the Lower East Side, will make 50% of its units permanently affordable.

The City Council is currently convening for a hearing today to discuss the fate of the Astoria Cove complex.