Report: 'Racialized Displacement' Followed Rezonings in New York City

The rezonings in question occurred during the Bloomberg administration, but advocates are seizing on the relevance of that experience to the rezonings of the de Blasio administration.

2 minute read

December 8, 2019, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Brooklyn

By Mihai Speteanu / Shutterstock

Caroline Spivack shares news of a new study by the Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFHH) that "lays bare the inequalities spurred by city-led rezonings, and points to the dire need for the de Blasio administration to study the racial impacts of land use actions poised to reshape New York City neighborhoods…"

The "Zoning & Racialized Displacement in NYC" [pdf] report analyzes two specific rezoning efforts from the Bloomberg administration—the 2003 Park Slope and 2005 Williamsburg rezonings—claiming the changes "displaced thousands of black and Latino residents as the neighborhoods’ populations grew," according to Spivack.

"Between 2000 and 2015, Williamsburg and Greenpoint saw a population increase of more than 20,000, but simultaneously saw a decrease of about 15,000 Latino residents, according to the report."

The advocates behind the report are using those findings to push for a citywide bill that "would mandate the city conduct a racial impact study for land use actions that require an environmental review."

As noted in the article, de Blasio's administration has achieved a wave of rezonings around the city, in East New York, Downtown Far Rockaway, East Harlem, Jerome Avenue, Inwood, and Staten Island’s Bay Street Corridor. "Three others are on the immediate horizon in Brooklyn’s Bushwick and Gowanus neighborhoods, and for a swath of the Bronx’s Southern Boulevard," according to Spivack.

Many of the same points, and from the other side of the issue, were debated recently with regard to the Williamsburg rezoning after comments made by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortze earlier this fall.

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