City Council approves sweeping East New York rezoning

The plan is expected to bring 6,000 new units — half market rate — to a 190-block radius

A rendering of a rezoned East New York
A rendering of a rezoned East New York

The controversial rezoning of East New York sailed through the City Council Wednesday by a vote of 45 to 1.

The rezoning, part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s larger affordable housing plan, impacts 190 blocks in East New York, Cypress Hills and Ocean Hill.

It will be the first of 15 neighborhoods to be rezone and the first area to be affected by mandatory inclusionary housing, which requires developers seeking a residential rezoning to set aside at least 25 percent of their apartments as affordable, New York YIMBY reported.

The rezoning is expected to generate more than 6,000 apartments, with half of those units being market rate and the other half geared toward those making between $23,350 and $69,930 for families of three, DNAinfo reported. The plan will also bring 1.3 million square feet of retail, office space and community facilities to the area.

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The only dissenting vote was from City Council member Inez Barron, whose district sits immediately south of the rezoning area, YIMBY reported.

“This plan does not go deep enough,” she said. “Twenty percent of my community earns less than $15,000 and will not be reached by this plan … There is no guarantee that developers will build affordable housing if they don’t want those subsidies.”

The rezoning is contentious. A union-backed group, New York Communities for Change, pushed for lower income thresholds for the affordable housing, citing that more than a third of East New York residents make below $23,000 yearly.

The city will commit to spending $257 million in infrastructure improvements and capital spending for the neighborhood, and plans on closing three homeless shelters, YIMBY reported. [YIMBY and DNAinfo]Dusica Sue Malesevic