BY: JOHN PETRO | New York YIMBY
JUNE 13TH 2014 AT 4:30 PM
Gerard Flynn | Gothamist
Jul 22, 2014 2:16 pm
The mayor has even chosen a single square mile in Cypress Hills, a subsection in the northeast section of East New York, to be the first of 15 sites slated for development under his $41 billion affordable housing plan, which is supposed to build or retain 200,000 affordable units in 10 years.
But in a district where the area median income is around $32,000/year—one of the poorest in the city—residents like Janice likely won’t be able to live in those “affordable” units. And for all its promises, Mayor de Blasio’s strategy for building affordable housing looks an awful lot like Mayor Bloomberg’s.
“It will please big developers while offering a sprinkling of housing,” says Tom Angotti, a professor of urban affairs and planning at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, referring to de Blasio’s plan. “It’s no different than Bloomberg’s plan to upzone wide areas for high-rise development and then get a little bit of affordable housing to win over the community.”
The mayor’s initiative proposes to rezone an area around the A/C and J/Z lines, which can get commuters to Manhattan within half an hour. As one community board member told City Limits last year, since Bushwick is the next stop off the J and L lines, it “just reeks of gentrification.”
“Who the plan is likely to bring into the neighborhood is anyone’s guess,” Angotti said. But he added, “the general trend is a wave of tenants moving out of recently gentrified neighborhoods like Williamsburg, or Bushwick.”
While the mayor’s housing plan is anchored around MIZ, which requires developers to build affordable housing in exchange for density bonuses, it offers tax breaks, such as the controversial 421-A program, and additional tools to “incentivize” developers. These developers can even build their affordable units off-site, far from the Transit Oriented oasis enjoyed by more fortunate tenants, so long as it’s somewhere within the district boundaries.