Land Use approves East Harlem rezoning

Proposal heads to full Council vote

Melissa Mark-Viverito and East Harlem (Credit: Getty Images and Compass)
Melissa Mark-Viverito and East Harlem (Credit: Getty Images and Compass)

The City Council’s Land Use Committee on Tuesday greenlighted a proposal to rezone East Harlem under the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program — a plan that is expected to create 1,288 affordable housing units on private sites.

Under MIH, the city estimates that at least 20 to 25 percent of all new residential units in East Harlem will be affordable. As a part of the plan, New York City Housing Authority’s East Harlem properties will get a $50 million investment, and $101 million will be set aside for the creation of a new park between 125th and 132nd streets.

“As the cost of living in New York City continues rising, we recognize that the creation and preservation of affordable housing is imperative to ensuring New Yorkers can continue to live and thrive in our diverse neighborhoods,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement after the vote.

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Politico reported that Mark-Viverito and the de Blasio administration struck a deal on Monday night to go forward with the rezoning, which was in danger of being held up over disagreements over height and density. The administration, however, agreed to include height limits on Park Avenue south of 118th Street, as well as other parts of the district.

The proposal had its critics, including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who said in August that the plan didn’t do enough to curb displacement. Brewer said on Tuesday that the latest plan is a significant improvement from what was originally proposed. As part of the city’s land use review process, the proposal awaits a final vote from the full City Council.—Kathryn Brenzel