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Affordable Housing Central to SoHo Rezoning Debate
The controversies in New York City surrounding rezonings during the de Blasio administration has shifted to the affluent corner of Manhattan known as SoHo, reports Elizabeth Kim.
City planning and community officials are currently weighing a broad set of rezoning proposals for the two Lower Manhattan manufacturing districts, SoHo and NoHo, which have not undergone a major rezoning since the early 1970s. Many had expected the fight to revolve around issues specific to the area: the push by commercial property owners to expand and legalize retail uses in a part of downtown that has become a major shopping destination, and the longstanding fears of loft artists whose rent-stabilized units have made them targets for eviction.
The New York Department of City Planning has yet to release a draft plan to the public, but the self-proclaimed YIMBY organization Open New York has pushed hard to center affordable housing in public hearings for the rezoning plan so far. "But resistance to the concept has been sharp, and the battle over affordable housing has exposed a generational divide, where younger New Yorkers perceive older residents as hoarding privilege and preventing them from having the same types of housing opportunities they had," according to Kim.
The article includes a lot of details, soundbites, and context on the affordable housing debate in SoHo, including one particularly controversial statement by a Community Board 2 Land Use Committee member that concludes the article.
Previous Planetizen coverage of the SoHo rezoning process:
- Advocating for Upzoning in Two of New York's Wealthiest Neighborhoods (June 2019)
- Manhattan Rezonings Pose Tough Challenges for Planners (February 2019)
- SoHo and NoHo Next for the New York City Rezoning Tour (September 2018)