The Real Deal New York

Residents wary of de Blasio’s housing plan

Locals oppose construction of new buildings, fearing it will lead to gentrification

February 04, 2015 12:25PM

From left: East New York and Bill de Blasio

From left: East New York and Bill de Blasio

Residents are increasingly critical of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing plan, that includes adding affordable housing to some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

Hostility is coming from East New York — one of the six areas the mayor picked for mandatory affordable housing during his State of the City speech on Tuesday — and other places, according to the New York Times, as residents fear that new developments will transform neighborhoods beyond recognition and potentially push out long-time residents.

While affordable housing is needed in the city, many residents are wary after they feel that projects from the Bloomberg era— for example, Pacific Park near the Barclays Center, formerly known as Atlantic — didn’t deliver the amount of affordable housing that was promised, the newspaper reported.

In Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, some residents are against all development, the newspaper reported. In Sunset Park, residents are opposing a new all-affordable building that would also expand the local library branch.

Community Action for Safe Apartments housing organizer Susanna Blankley told the newspaper that new major developments have to be accompanied by strong, neighborhood-specific policies that will protect existing tenants.

“If we don’t do this right,” Blankley told the Times, “we stand to lose any semblance of affordability in the city.” [NYT] — Claire Moses

  • Sorry

    If they are against it then they are free to purchase property for themselves and sit on it. Otherwise, they have no say in the matter.

    • comment flagged

      yeah, why won’t these idiots pull themselves up out of poverty by the bootstraps and just buy a building in East New York already?!

    • Monica McLaughlin

      Of course they have a say in the matter. The requirement that one must own property to have an opinion or a say went out in America about 200 years ago.

  • DTNYC

    It’s going to happen whether they like it or not. You might as well get some affordable housing while you can, but you might be left with none at all and gentrification happens anyway!

  • native new yorker

    It is a tale of 2 cities as comrade deBlasio states. 1 city is lining up with it’s hands out waiting for ‘affordable’ apartments. The other city just got it’s real estate tax bill increase notification in the mail.

    • comment flagged

      hopefully it’s all the undertaxed people who own Condos, Co-Ops, and 1-4 family residential buildings and not the overtaxed owners of apartment buildings where a majority of people in Manhattan and dense parts of the city live.

      • native new yorker

        Homeowners are not under-taxed. I’m now paying $5k/year on an 1100 sqft 1-fam house. Apartment buildings are in effect large businesses with huge rent rolls and should be taxed as businesses. Keep raising taxes on homeowners and the city will soon lose it’s real-estate-tax advantage over the suburbs. The NYC homeowner keeps neighborhoods stable and prosperous. Many apartment renters are transients who don’t care about their surroundings.

        • comment flagged

          1-fam house in the largest city in the country is a luxury. $5k/year is very little in property taxes, relatively speaking–why should the city have a property tax advantage over the suburbs? Many apartment renters are transients, so what? Transients are people too. Many apartment renters are not transients as well. Homeowners do keep neighborhoods stable, which is why we should tear down your neighbor and replace one owner with a 6-unit condo building, all owner-occupied.

  • comment flagged

    Santa Clause is coming to town

  • Tony Giordano

    That is inaccurate that residents in Sunset Park are opposing affordable housing. Except for a handful of residents on the block who are worried about losing their parking spots the community is overwhelmingly in support of affordable housing. In fact our great fear is that we are being ignored as a residential community and only seen through the eyes of the industrial/manufacturing complex – We’re even worried that we’re being ignored to commercial/office development. And a little lesson in supply and demand and sustainability would help our economy – our abundance of industrial/manufacturing space is keeping rentals down around $10 a sq ft. Our goal should be a sustainable community – a balance of industrial/manufacturing/commercial/residential/educational/open space & recreational uses. With 120,000 residents we are a major city when compared to others across the U.S. We can no longer be seen through a one-dimensional lense.

  • James

    As a homeowner in east new york. I eagerly await the much needed development in the area.

  • David Brown

    I’m reminded of the urban economist Edward Glaeser who pointed out that virtually none of the “low cost” housing in America was actually built. The low cost housing that people live in today was actually built as middle or working class housing in areas that have declined socially and economically. In simple terms East New York.

    • Monica McLaughlin

      That isn’t true. I currently live in low cost housing that was built from the late 1800’s to 1910 — the landmark First Avenue Estate located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, 15 tenement buildings spanning an entire city block. There is a similar development called York Avenue Estate on 79th Street on the Upper East Side. In fact, all tenement housing was built for the working poor.

      • David Brown

        I think we are caiught up in semantics. You are defining low cost housing as projects build, principally with government funding, for low income tenants. I am defining low cost housing as all housing that has a low rent. I’m guessing but I suspect the waiting list for people looking to get into the projects you describe are more than hundred thousand people in NYC alone. Where do they live now? What Glaeser points out is that they live in formerly middle class and working class homes that have declined in value.

        • Monica McLaughlin

          No, I am NOT talking about projects. I do not live in a project. I live in a privately owned apartment building. I am talking about apartment buildings built for the working poor. In fact, until the late 1800s it was unheard of for middle and upper classes to live in apartments at all. ALL tenements were built by private developers for the poor even after middle and upper classes began living in apartments. The middle and upper classes never lived in tenements.

  • miloslav veytsman

    the hipsters are coming with their beards and lattes…..whether the “existing tenants” like it or not

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