Rosie O’Donnell is taking a million dollar loss on the sale of her Saddle River, New Jersey mansion but local residents will reap the rewards. The home will be torn down and replaced with affordable housing.
The problem? Her upscale neighbors in “the most exclusive town in the country” are pissed.
With six bedrooms and nine bathrooms, the mansion has been on the market for five years. O’Donnell currently lives in an eight million dollar New York penthouse.
O’Donnell purchased the property in 2013 for $6.3 million; she sold the five-acre lot for $5.3 million.
A landmark settlement between the borough and housing authorities required the borough to comply with affordable housing requirements. But the sale is causing controversy inside the tony neighborhood that includes Mary J. Blige and Ja Rule.
The area is so full of rich people, they argue, that they shouldn’t have to set aside housing for the hoi polloi who will simply be unable to afford to live there.
“The town itself is against [it] but they had no choice,” New Jersey Sen. Holly Schepisi (R) told the New York Post. “Everything is out of pocket here. Pay out of pocket for sports, schools … how is somebody with very little income viable to live in this town?”
Only 20 percent of the 60 units planned for the property will be designated for lower incomes.