Gowanus lost 22% of its rent-stabilized housing between 2007 and 2014: study

Housing advocates push for affordability in Gowanus rezoning

Mar.March 24, 2017 10:15 AM

Lightstone’s 365 Bond Street in Gowanus

As the city mulls a rezoning in Gowanus, community advocates are pushing for affordable housing to be part of the expected influx of residential development.

A New Report By The Nonprofit Fifth Avenue Committee found that 33 percent of housing in Gowanus is affordable — but those numbers are declining. Between 2007 and 2014, the number of rent-stabilized apartments dropped 22 percent in Gowanus, Boerum Hill, Carroll Garden and Park Slope thanks to market-rate development in those areas. That compares to a 6 percent drop citywide.

FAC and other groups — calling themselves the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice — said Park Slope’s rezonings in 2003 and 2007 displaced many longtime residents. In a report that lists their demands, the coalition emphasized the housing needs of 4,300 residents of public housing in Gowanus.

“We do need change, we do need investment, but it has to be done in a way that includes us, not at our expense,” said Dave Powell, FAC’s director of organizing and advocacy, according to DNAinfo.

David Lichtenstein’s Lightstone Group received approval for a rezoning to build two rental buildings at 363 and 365 Bond Street. Out of 700 apartments, 140 are reserved for low-income renters. In 2015, Lightstone sold part of the project to Atlantic Realty Development for $75 million.

Amid rezoning talks for Gowanus, other big names developers — including Kushner Companies, Property Markets Group and Alloy Development — have projects planned for Gowanus, where the median home price was $1.2 million in 2016.

Residents in the area have expressed concerns recently that President Trump’s proposed cut to the Environmental Protection Agency may stall the Superfund cleanup efforts of the canal. [DNAinfo]E.B. Solomont

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