Community group calls for lower income tiers for East New York rezoning

De Blasio administration says if developers had to hit that level, nothing would be built

From left: Rafael Espinal and Atlantic Avenue in East New York
From left: Rafael Espinal and Atlantic Avenue in East New York

A community group is pushing for lower income thresholds for affordable housing in East New York — the mayor’s test case for rezoned neighborhoods as part of his affordable housing plan.

The Brooklyn neighborhood is the first of 15 areas that will be rezoned under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan, whose two zoning proposals recently got the City Council’s approval.

New York Communities for Change says the housing that comes out of the rezoning should be accessible for East New York residents — more than a third make below $23,000 yearly, Crain’s reported.

The de Blasio administration said that if developers were to hit that income threshold, nothing would be built, and large city subsides would be needed to make it happen, according to Crain’s.

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In December, City Comptroller Scott Stringer claimed the new affordable housing units created under the rezoning could displace as many as 50,000 residents. The units would be unaffordable for 55 percent of East New York’s residents, according to Stringer’s analysis.

The rezoning is expected to 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.

New York Communities for Change, a union-backed group that says it represents around 1,000 East New York residents, is pressuring City Council member Rafael Espinal. The group wants Espinal to press for buildings constructed under the rezoning on Atlantic Avenue and Pitkin Avenue to be 50 percent affordable for low-income tenants, according to Crain’s.

A city study released last month found the rezoning would cause a shortage of public school seats and child care facilities, and result in a lack of open space. [Crain’s]Dusica Sue Malesevic