City Planning approves East New York rezoning plan

Neighborhood is first of 15 facing zoning overhaul as part of mayor's NYC affordable housing push

Carl Weisbrod Bill de Blasio
From left: Carl Weisbrod and Bill de Blasio

The City Planning Commission approved the proposed rezoning of East New York on Wednesday in a boost to the de Blasio administration’s ambitious affordable housing plan.

The commission voted 12-1 in favor of the proposal despite community opposition, with the changes expected to drastically alter the East Brooklyn neighborhood and make it the first of 15 city districts to be rezoned.

While City Planning chair Carl Weisbrod said the de Blasio administration had worked closely with local stakeholders in putting forth the proposal, according to DNAinfo, critics and community groups interrupted Weisbrod in protest the CPC’s meeting Wednesday.

The East New York rezoning plan has seen the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development commit to financing an initial 1,200 units of affordable housing in the neighborhood, with a “significant” portion of units reaching families with “very low” and “extremely low” household incomes.

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There would be more than 6,000 new affordable apartments created in the neighborhood overall under the rezoning, with some units going as low as 30 percent of average median income.

But more than half of those 6,000 units would be reserved for residents earning less than 60 percent of area median income, or $42,620 for a family of three – with critics noting that most East New York residents don’t fall into that higher income bracket.

HPD, however, has pledged that any project it subsidizes in the neighborhood would feature 100 percent affordable housing. The East New York rezoning plan will go before the City Council for a final vote this spring. [DNAinfo]Rey Mashayekhi