Inwood has remained an affordable part of Manhattan for a remarkably long time, but a rezoning has raised fears among locals that rents will rise.
The city rezoned the northern Manhattan neighborhood last August, easing restrictions on buildings to allow for new residential properties that could transform the skyline. Real estate investors have purchased $610 million worth of properties in the neighborhood since plans to rezone were announced in 2013, and longtime tenants are concerned that they will soon be pushed out by rising prices, according to the New York Times.
Residents of Inwood and the rest of the city can already qualify for free legal services for housing issues, and the de Blasio administration has pledged to preserve or construct at least 4,100 units of affordable housing in the neighborhood.
However, opponents of the rezoning are pursuing a legal case to overturn it, fanning the flames of a debate over whether the rezoning will harm or push out longtime residents. Critics have not been persuaded by arguments by the administration that rents have been rising faster in Inwood than in comparable areas because very little housing supply has been added.
“Little did they expect the fight-back, which has been incredibly vocal and active in all of the neighborhood,” Hunter College urban planning professor emeritus Tom Angotti told the Times. “In Inwood, it’s specifically the Dominican population that is going to be the most vulnerable.” [NYT] – Eddie Small