Affordable housing projects all over the country have been a tough sell the last couple of years. Some of the reasons include hard-to-get mortgages and a dwindling difference in prices between affordable units and market-rate properties with no restrictions on resale.

The problem is particularly acute in Far Rockaway, N.Y., where New York City housing officials and developers are frustrated by slow sales of existing units, which prevents the remainder of the project from being built.

City-subsidized housing in Far Rockaway and in various other parts of the city selling for $250,000 to $350,000 is sitting on the market for as long as 18 months, even though prices have been cut as much as 30 percent.

City Housing commissioner Rafael E. Cestero said when the projects were planned, these units ''were deeply affordable'' compared with what was then on the market. ''We had no idea what was going to happen,'' he said.

Source: The New York Times, Cara Buckley