[UPDATE]: The City Council has voted to reject the rezoning project that has been strongly opposed by Inwood residents since its introduction. Assembly member Guillermo Linares called the vote an "important win" but urged the community to stay "united and vigilant to win the war" against gentrification. "We must turn this tide of luxury housing being built in the working class neighborhoods exiling people who cannot afford to live there anymore. I am asking you to take a stand here in Inwood with me to make an example of 100% housing affordability being possible in the neighborhood standing on the verge of gentrification," he stated.
Though the project would've included affordable housing units, residents argued that the apartments were not affordable enough for the community that is already in place. The lowest price point for the mandatory inclusion bracket was upwards of $31,000 while about 27 percent of Inwood residents make less than $24,000, deeming them ineligible for the very units that were supposed to be beneficial for them.
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez has made the decision to not support the proposed rezoning of Inwood that would allow for a 15-story residential building in a low-rise neighborhood, reports POLITICO.
Rodriguez, had originally expressed uncertainty on his position regarding the project, but clarified his opposition at a rally on Monday night, where neighborhood residents were protesting at the corner of Broadway and Sherman Avenue. Plans for the building that would have included about 178 below-market apartments have been halted amid community opposition.
"Gentrification has been happening in northern Manhattan for the last 20 years. We have a crisis on our hands that began under previous administrations," Rodriguez declared as he addressed the crowd. "We’ve now been able to get to a point where I feel it is in the community’s best interest to not move this spot rezoning forward." Upon hearing this, the crowd burst into cheers and applause.
Though developers can still move forward with a 14-story market-rate building without the city’s approval, rezoning would have allowed for a building that was 20 percent larger, bringing with it a fairly significant amount of below market-rate units. City officials had reached an agreement with developers Washington Square Partners and Acadia Realty Trust to pay subsidies that would have allowed for half of the building’s 355 apartments to be rented below market rate. A committee vote was still underway Tuesday morning.