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East New York Rezoning Wins City Council Approval

It's really happening

Mayor de Blasio's campaign promise to bring more affordable housing to New York City will become a reality. On Wednesday, the City Council voted 45-1 to approve the rezoning of East New York to accommodate some 6,500 new apartments in the coming years, half of which will be earmarked as affordable housing (h/t NYDN). The de Blasio administration has been eyeing the Brooklyn neighborhood for a rezoning since they announced the agenda to build and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in NYC in the next ten years.

What exactly "affordable" means to the residents of East New York has been the subject of much controversy surrounding the rezoning. A report issued by New York Communities for Change last week predicted that in the best case scenario when developers are taking subsidies and are then required to build half of their apartments as affordable, only four percent of those apartments will be for people making $23,000 a year or less. By comparison, 34 percent of East New York residents make less than $23,000.

Under the plan approved by the City Council, 1300 affordable units will be built within the next two years with 40-60 percent of those apartments earmarked for families making up to $47,000 a year, 10 percent will be for families making up to $23,000, 15 percent for $31,000, 15 percent for $39,000, and 20 percent for those making up to $70,000, the Daily News reported earlier.

The approval isn't unexpected; the City Council's Land Use Committee signed off on the rezoning last week, and the City Planning Commission gave it the thumbs up in February. The proposal was initially rejected by Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn community boards, which all criticized the rezoning's affordability standards.