Study finds big problems with East New York rezoning plan

City Planning Commission will vote next week on key part of de Blasio's affordable housing plan
February 18, 2016 09:30AM

East New York is the test case for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, and a city study found the rezoning of the Brooklyn neighborhood would cause a shortage of public school seats and child care facilities, and result in a lack of open space.

The City Planning Commission this week released its final environmental impact statement on the rezoning — a key piece to de Blasio’s initiative.

East New York is the first of 15 neighborhoods that would be rezoned under the mayor’s plan and would generate 6,492 new apartments and 1.3 million square feet of retail, office space and community facilities in the 190-block area of East New York, Cypress Hill and Ocean Hill neighborhoods, Politico reported.

The rezoning plan, while requiring developers set aside at least 25 percent of units in new developments as affordable, would also bring more market-rate housing to the neighborhoods.

Long-time residents fear getting priced out of their homes and a study by City Comptroller Scott Stringer found the rezoning could displace as many a 50,000 residents (city agencies dispute the conclusions). Stringer’s analysis found the units created under the plan would be unaffordable for 55 percent of the neighborhood’s current residents.

The administration counters that it will spend as much money as needed to ensure half the new homes are affordable to existing residents.

The City Commission is set to vote on the plan next week. The City Council will then have 50 days to cast its own vote. [Politico]Dusica Sue Malesevic