De Blasio’s East New York Rezoning Plans Not Affordable Enough, Group Says in New Report


Real Affordability for All — a low-income advocacy group and de Blasio ally — has released a new report critiquing the mayor’s rezoning and affordable housing plan (PDF) for East New York. The 13-page report asserts that de Blasio’s plan fails to address job inequality and will not assist East New York’s neediest residents, but will in fact lead to the “whitening” and further displacement of the neighborhood.

Made of a coalition of close to 50 tenant groups and community organizations, Real Affordability for All suggests that de Blasio’s rezoning plans incentivize developers to promote gentrification in East New York. Thus, the group believes, de Blasio’s mandatory inclusionary zoning plans will “fail to address the affordability crisis,” doing more harm than good in neighborhoods like East New York.

Instead, the group suggests criteria that will assist the 700,000 New Yorkers they believe were left behind by Bloomberg’s housing plans, a group they believe de Blasio’s agenda will also fail to help. Real Affordability for All would rather have unique special-purpose districts created, each tailored to its community’s needs.

Working with the same values as de Blasio, Real Affordability for All’s alternative plan is actually not so different from the mayor’s — it simply proposes denser building and includes a direct focus on employment.

“Building taller and denser apartment buildings means developers will yield bigger profits, so they can afford to increase the depth of affordability and the wages paid to workers,” the organization says in the report.

The report will be officially released today at noon during the Rally for Real Affordable Housing and Real Jobs in Downtown Brooklyn, at 7 Dekalb Avenue. The event’s goals will be using the presentation of the report to pressure de Blasio into including more “real” affordable housing and union construction jobs in his rezoning plan. The event’s timing coincides with the beginning of the public land review process for the rezoning of East New York.

“Since when does $1700 for a studio apartment count as ‘affordable’?” the event’s Facebook description questions. Rents are rising faster than incomes citywide.

De Blasio’s agenda has received critique from city officials and advocacy groups alike. Yet, the underlying problem seems to sit with the mayor’s inability to quell the rapid pace of gentrification throughout New York. Backed by two pro-development administrations and with a limited budget, are de Blasio’s plans faulty, or is a degree of displacement simply unavoidable?

[Images: City Planning]

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