Responding to Criticism of Rezoning for Affordable Housing

New York Law School's Ross Sandler & HPD's Vicki Been (Phoebe Rosen for NYLS via Gotham Gazette)

New York Law School’s Ross Sandler & HPD’s Vicki Been (Photo by Phoebe Rosen for NYLS via Gotham Gazette)

At community board meetings across the five boroughs in recent weeks, two key elements of residents of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, mandatory inclusionary housing and zoning for quality and affordability, have been taken up for public review, and their reception has been mixed. Concerns have ranged from worries about displacement to worries about building height easements.

Nonetheless, Vicki Been, commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, speaking at New York Law School recently, stated that the city’s affordable housing plan was on track, and she emphasized that “the plan is less about simply building units and more about ‘making neighborhoods better,'” reports Christian Zhang in Gotham Gazette.

Been said that all such plans are controversial because current residents fear they could be displaced – that gentrification is scary to many in and near neighborhoods that have been changing over the years. But Been also said the East New York plan, which aims to provide more than 3,000 units of affordable housing and improve transport and business corridors, was something the city should be doing more of. She also said that rezonings don’t actually lead to more flight from neighborhoods by low-income tenants than is a typical amount of transience.

Speaking to Gotham Gazette after the event, Been said that while she would like the rezoning plans to be more widely accepted, “we would like to get it passed, and we’re very optimistic.”

Go to Gotham Gazette to learn all the ways Been detailed that the city will try to ensure that displacement doesn’t occur as a result of rezoning and new construction.

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