Borough President Adams Says No to Mayor’s Affordable Housing Plan for East New York

Photo of Borough President Eric Adams by Barbara Eldredge

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Just minutes before the start of a public hearing on the mayor’s East New York rezoning plan Wednesday morning, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams issued his vote rejecting the contentious proposal.

Adams’ official decision was to disapprove the plan “with conditions” — meaning he does not support the proposed rezoning of East New York but could support it if the right conditions are met.

Remind me. What’s the East New York rezoning plan?

This is Mayor de Blasio’s proposal to upzone East New York — giving developers permission to build taller (and therefore bigger) in the neighborhood. This would stimulate economic development in the area, according to the administration, and also help create more affordable housing — one of the Mayor’s favorite things.

The East New York Community Plan is part of de Blasio’s larger initiative to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade.

What changes does Adams want?

While the borough president admits to being “generally supportive of the plan’s intent,” Adams wants more than seven changes, including:

  • Affordable units should be permanently affordable
  • More anti-displacement measures
  • Funding for legal representation for all tenants subjected to harassment
  • Hiring locals for construction, retail and manufacturing in the area
  • Support for small property owners and local area businesses
  • More construction of housing with very low income and low income affordable housing
  • The creation of a “follow-up body” to hold the city accountable for its promises

The Beep’s criticisms of the plan echo community concerns and the local community board’s vote against the proposal.

East New York Public Hearing

Wednesday’s City Planning Commission hearing. Photo by Hannah Frishberg

What does this decision mean for the East New York rezoning?

Adams’ vote is the halfway point in the six-step Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, a seven-month process used to approve or reject proposals that require a zoning change.

The first step was the city certifying the Mayor’s proposal as complete. The second step was Community Board 5’s and Community Board 16’s vote on the plan — they also rejected it (as well as the two umbrella proposals). Now Brooklyn Borough President Adams has weighed in.

The City Planning Commission had a hearing Wednesday, and they’ll vote next. But even if CB5, BP Adams, and the CPC all reject the plan, the City Council’s vote is the one that officially decides whether the plan is implemented or not.

After the City Council’s vote, the Mayor could decide to weigh in, but by that time, he’ll probably have already compromised with the City Council.

Related Stories
What Is ULURP? And Why Do We Have It?
East New York Is Not the Next Crown Heights: Residents Fear Rezoning Will Push Them Out
De Blasio’s East New York Rezoning Plans Not Affordable Enough, Group Says in New Report

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