The Real Deal New York

Community groups unhappy with compromise on de Blasio’s affordable housing plan

Some say not enough information was available for deal between mayor and City Council

March 21, 2016 02:00PM


From left: Bill de Blasio and Melissa Mark Viverito

Community boards and groups say they were kept out of the loop during negotiations between the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio on the mayor’s affordable housing plan.

Last week, the City Council and the mayor brokered a deal, with some modifications, for a pair of zoning proposals. Both are part of the mayor’s plan to create 200,000 units of affordable housing by 2024.

Community boards throughout the city rejected the mayor’s proposals, with some calling the plans a “one size fits all” approach with insufficient levels of affordability, climbing only to 40 percent of area median income (AMI).

Groups that reached out to City Council members for details were left out in the cold or given conflicting information, DNAinfo reported.

“For the Council to announce that they have arrived at a deal for something that they don’t have any details to share with the public is embarrassing,” Andrew Berman, of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, told DNAinfo.

Bronx Community Board 2 chairman Ian Amritt told DNAinfo that the City Council “really sold out and betrayed” their constituents.

“I would think the compromise is a step in the right direction as to what the community wants, but it still does not include all communities,”Amritt said. “This 40 percent [AMI] impacts those middle-income earners who earn from $35 to $60,000, and those are not people in Hunts Point. Those are not people in Mott Haven. Those are not people in East New York.”

A City Council committee approved the housing overhaul last week. Mandatory Inclusionary Housing requires developers to provide 25 to 30 percent of units aside as affordable when asking for a residential rezoning. The Zoning for Quality and Affordability provision is designed to spur more housing for seniors and allow for increased flexibility in building designs. [DNAinfo]Dusica Sue Malesevic