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East New York Rezoning Proposal Gets City Planning Backing

The plan seeks to add over 6,000 new units of housing to the neighborhood, about half of which will be affordable

The City Planning Commission (CPC) has approved yet another controversial rezoning proposal put forth by the Bill de Blasio administration, Gothamist first reported. This time it's the proposal to rezone East New York, Brooklyn. Part of the plan would add over 6,000 new units of housing, about half of them affordable.

This proposal is part of the Mayor's Housing New York[PDF!] plan that seeks to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next ten years. East New York is the first of 15 neighborhoods across the city that will eventually be rezoned to make room for more housing. Much like the broader rezoning proposals that the CPC also recently approved, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA), the East New York proposal too has been heavily criticized by local residents and housing advocates from the start.

The most salient argument, as is the case with the broader rezoning proposals, is the band of affordability. Most affordable units would be available to families of three making less than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), which is $42,620. A report last year by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer revealed that this would make the units unaffordable to a large number of residents in the neighborhood where the average median income is $32,815.

The administration has countered by saying that the band of affordability could be negotiated, but that the most vital part of the rezoning plan is that it seeks to prioritize the creation of 1,200 new units of affordable housing over the next two years. The rezoning proposal also calls for the creation of a new 1,000-seat school, and improvement to local parks and infrastructure.

Regardless the proposal has been rejected by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and the local community boards, according to the New York Daily News.

The proposal now goes to the City Council which will vote on it this spring.