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A tower room at Eden Roc

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Hey NYC mayoral candidates, how much does it cost these days to buy a place in Brooklyn?

Let’s ask Shaun Donovan, whose resume would seem to indicate that asking him to answer this wouldn’t be like asking Karl Marx who won the F.A. Cup in 1949.

From 1995 to 1998, he worked at the Community Preservation Corporation, a nonprofit lender and affordable housing developer in New York, as a Special Assistant/Assistant Director of Development.[4][5] It was his first job after graduating college. While working there, he helped a group of faith-based organizations built the Nehemiah project, with 5,000 housing units.[2]

Then, during the Bill Clinton administration and the transition to the Bush administration from 1998 to 2001, Donovan was Special Assistant/Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and was acting Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner.[5]

Donovan next worked on private sector initiatives to finance affordable housing, and researched and wrote about the preservation of federally assisted housing as a visiting scholar at New York University.[10] As a consultant, Donovan advised the Millennial Housing Commission on strategies for increasing multifamily housing development.[10][11]

He worked for Prudential Mortgage Capitol Company from 2002 to 2004, as a managing director of FHA lending and affordable housing investments.[4][5]

Donovan was Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development from 2004 to 2009 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.[7][12] The agency had a $1 billion budget, and 2,700 employees.[11] He was credited with creating the department’s Marketplace Plan to build and preserve over 160,000 affordable homes, which was the largest city-sponsored affordable housing plan in US history.[10]

On December 13, 2008, in his weekly national radio address, President-elect Barack Obama announced that he would appoint Donovan to his cabinet.[13] He was confirmed as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by the U.S. Senate through unanimous consent on January 22, 2009, and sworn in on January 26.[14][15]

I mean he’s gonna nail this one, right? This is like asking me the score of the 1976 Michigan-Ohio State game, or whether a BMI of 34 is considered obese. We’re right in your professional wheelhouse Shaun!

New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay asked Donovan, “Do you happen to know what the median sales price for a home is in Brooklyn right now?”

“In Brooklyn, huh? I don’t know for sure. I would guess it is around $100,000,” Donovan responded.

Oooh, so close!

Guess we’d better ask this prospective Tribune of the People instead.

Through scholarships, [McGuire] attended the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut.[3] He then graduated with an A.B. from Harvard College in 1979. McGuire attended the University of Nice in France on a Rotary Fellowship in 1980.[4] In 1984, he received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.[5]

Think like a lawyer Ray.

Asking almost the identical question to McGuire, Gay said, “And just answer this to the best of your ability, obviously. What is the median sales price for a home or apartment in Brooklyn?”

“In Brooklyn, that number has gone up now. It depends on where in Brooklyn,” McGuire replied. “It’s got to be somewhere in the $80,000 to $90,000 range, if not higher.

Yeah, I’d go with “higher.” (The answer is $900,000. That’s a median kids, so it doesn’t include Puffy’s pad or anything like that).

All together now: The meritocracy!

. . . LGM commenters join the laff riot by pointing out that there isn’t a single state in the country where the median price of a home is as low as these NYC mayoral candidates thought it was in Brooklyn, and that the only property for sale in Brooklyn at the moment for $100,000 is a parking space.

h/t dogboy and pianomover.

. . . Two years ago Donovan and his wife bought a place listed for $1.6 million for $2.3 million. In Brooklyn. I have no even speculative explanation for what is going on here. (h/t R. Daneel Olivaw)

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