Mayor’s Plan for Affordable Housing Will Turn East New York Into Bushwick


    The ironies of the Mayor’s housing plan are piling up as high as a waterfront luxury skyscraper. Despite the populist rhetoric, the mayor’s plan to build more affordable housing in Brooklyn is a recipe for more development much like Bloomberg’s and will likely accelerate the gentrification of the few low-income neighborhoods still left in Brooklyn, was the conclusion of a deep dive into the subject matter on Gothamist.

    Long-time residents of Cypress Hills, East New York, the Atlantic Avenue corridor and other low-income areas targeted by the mayor for rezoning and more affordable housing will not be able to afford these new “affordable” developments, the story concluded.

    The mayor’s strategy “will please big developers while offering a sprinkling of housing,” the story quoted Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College and the Graduate Center Tom Angotti as saying. “It’s no different than Bloomberg’s plan to upzone wide areas for high-rise development and then get a little bit of affordable housing to win over the community.”

    The income thresholds are way too high for those area’s residents now. “As it’s written, the [citywide] unit percentage breakdown amounts to a median rent of between $1,050 and $1,670, with 8 percent of the 200,000 units for rent at $630,” said Shai Lauros, director of community development for Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation. Affordable rents in Cypress Hills “typically range from $375 to $625, so there is a discrepancy here. This could contribute to displacement,” she said.

    A report on the Sustainable Communities Initiative from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development came to a similar conclusion, saying it “has the potential to spur gentrification and displace residents in low- and moderate-income areas.”

    Whites are already moving into East New York, and NYU tote bags (gasp!) have been seen in Cypress Hills, said the story. Gothamist spoke to several residents of these areas, each in their own way representative of the changes happening. One was a long-time resident of Cypress Hills who wouldn’t be able to afford the new developments. Another sold his townhouse in Bed Stuy for a million dollars a year ago and moved to East New York. The third was a priced-out renter and artist who moved to a studio with more space for $1,000 a month somewhere near Fulton Street.

    What do you think the answer is?

    Is East New York The Next Bushwick? [Gothamist]

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