Advocates: Gowanus Rezoning Must Address Affordability

As the supply of affordable housing in Gowanus continues to diminish, a new coalition demands that any rezoning plan fill the gaps.

1 minute read

March 29, 2017, 6:00 AM PDT

By Elana Eden

Down Payment

Jeffrey / Flickr

As New York considers extending its rezoning efforts to the largely industrial neighborhood of Gowanus, non-profits have convened the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice to represent the needs of low-income tenants and residents of public housing.

The Real Deal writes:

A new report by the nonprofit Fifth Avenue Committee found that 33 percent of housing in Gowanus is affordable — but those numbers are declining. Between 2007 and 2014, the number of rent-stabilized apartments dropped 22 percent in Gowanus, Boerum Hill, Carroll Garden and Park Slope thanks to market-rate development in those areas. That compares to a 6 percent drop citywide.

To counteract these trends, the coalition demands that "any rezoning, large land use action or public investment" be organized around five basic principles:

1. Advance racial and economic justice

2. Create real affordable housing and protect tenants from displacement

3. Promote environmental justice

4. Protect local businesses where we work and shop

5. Uplift the culture and community of long-time residents

Strategies to meet these goals—including workforce development, community policing, and racial desegregation—are outlined in the statement.

Gowanus community groups have advocated protections for longtime residents and small businesses since at least fall 2016, with the launch of the Bridging Gowanus community planning process.

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