The NY Times has a front page article on the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce's problematic efforts to develop and manage housing—and suggests that the group continued to receive millions from the city—despite of "years of failed promises to run the buildings effectively" and foreclosures—because the city wanted to pass the controversial 125th Street rezoning plan.

Initially, City Councilwoman Inez Dickens was against the city's plan, which was problematic since her approval was critical to advancing the plan. (The Times notes that she is "a woman with a lifetime’s worth of connections to the Harlem chamber and its president, Lloyd A. Williams. Ms. Dickens’s father had been president of the chamber before Mr. Williams; she had served on its board; and Mr. Williams had been among her few fund-raisers.") But then her tune changed:

On April 30, 2008, Ms. Dickens threw her support behind the plan, and directed her colleagues on the City Council to approve it, a decision that provoked jeers and taunting from dozens of Harlem residents. The same day, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development notified [the chamber's president Lloyd] Williams that it was finalizing the $2.55 million grant.

And the grant apparently didn't help out much: The group still owes money and the buildings its owns have many violations.