Last week, Mayor de Blasio promised to “lift up working families” with soon-to-be built affordable apartments the city is sponsoring on a vacant lot in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
But at an affordable housing project a few blocks away, builder MDG Design and subcontractor F. Rizos, settled federal wage-cheating charges in April 2013 by agreeing to pay $960,000 in back wages.
Just one month later, MDG was hit with more wage-cheating charges on another city project, this time for $4.5 million in back wages, a city record.
Yet MDG was chosen by the former Bloomberg administration that very month to turn a city-owned warehouse in Williamsburg into 55 affordable apartments and stands to build hundreds more in the coming years.
Many taxpayer-funded developments in New York City require contractors and their subcontractors to pay “prevailing wages.” Some contractors jump through hoops to avoid this.