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

Housing advocates push for affordability in Gowanus rezoning

Lightstone's 365 Bond Street in Gowanus
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.

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“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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