Borough Boards and NYC Comptroller Slam Mayor’s Plans

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Courtesy of TheRealDeal.com

A report was released last week on real estate news site, The Real Deal, pointing out that borough boards in 4 out of 5 boroughs rejected Mayor deBlasio’s Mandatory Inclusion Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability plans.

No shocker there seeing as community boards all across the city have been publicly protesting the plans for months. According to the report, “The Zoning for Equality and Affordability plan would allow architects more flexibility in designing buildings.” The plans also focus on providing affordable housing. But residents see past the idealistic promises of affordability and right into the future where the very real threat of displacement exists.

On the same day that The Real Deal released their report, The New York City Comptroller’s office released one too. Stringer’s report was a full analysis of the Mayor’s plans which concluded, “the city’s own data shows  that the current plan could inadvertently displace tens of thousands of families in East New York, the vast majority of whom will be unable to to afford the relatively small number of new units that will be built.”  The report goes on to talk about the 84 percent of residents who won’t be able to afford market rate apartments and the 55 percent who won’t even be able to afford the affordable units.

When asked about the opposition to his plans back in November, deBlasio told the Gotham Gazette, “Those objections should be heard and we should, you know, think about them, and where we see the need to make certain modifications we will,” de Blasio said.

“But in the end, the community boards aren’t the final decision makers. The mayor and the City Council make the decisions, in some cases, obviously, with the City Planning Commission.”

How considerate of the Mayor to include us in his plans.

 

de Blasio Defends his Plans

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Photo Courtesy of wnyc.org

Mayor de Blasio’s attempts to deal with the housing issue in the city has been widely criticized. Many communities have actively protested against his proposed rezoning plans.

In an interview on the Brian Lehrer radio show last week the Mayor said, “Gentrification is a complicated issue and a double edged sword. Of course it means something good is happening on one level and it often leads to strengthening of neighborhoods…but it also can lead to the displacement of neighborhood residents.”

Listen to the full interview on the WNYC website.

Public Hearing to discuss the Mayor’s Zoning Plan

Taken from NYC Department of Planing

A public hearing will be held at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Nov. 23 to discuss the Mayor’s controversial rezoning plans. The Mayor markets his plan as something that will “strengthen East New York, Cypress Hills, and Ocean Hill as vibrant, inclusive neighborhoods of opportunity with affordable housing, Economic Opportunities, and new community resources.” There has been much opposition to the Mayor’s proposal throughout the five boroughs.

According to published reports, Community Board 8 in the Bronx voted against the plans due to “the lack of community input that went into their formation.” Their complaints included mention of measures in the plan that would allow developers to cram senior citizens in units as small as 250 square feet.

Community Board 15 in Brooklyn also opposed the Mayor’s plans, coming to a unanimous vote in a  meeting last month. The Sheepshead Bay area in Brooklyn is not currently included in the Mayor’s proposed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Plan that promises affordable housing units. The same goes for Community Board 2 and the list goes on and on.

At a meeting held in Brownsville, residents, community leaders, and elected officials gathered last month. Residents were urged not to fall for false promises. “They’re going to tell you it’s affordable — affordable to who?” said Assemblyman Charles Barron at the meeting. “You should reject this plan…Don’t let nobody come in here trying to turn this into Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights.”

Changes are happening all over Brooklyn. Plans are proposed to change things for the better and enrich the neighborhoods. But the unanswered question remains, for who? When the neighborhood becomes better, who will be living there to enjoy it?

Foreclosure Scams in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams has taken an active role in offering support to prevent homeowners from becoming victims to foreclosure rescue scams.

After teaming up with Attorney General Eric T. SchneiBP_Warning_Scamsderman, the duo sent out warnings to Brooklyn homeowners in prime areas like Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, and other neighborhoods near the Barclays Center — areas that are being threatened by increasing rents and predatory developers.

“To help homeowners avoid these scammers, our offices are joining forces to raise awareness about this issue,” they wrote. The letter sent to homeowners also offers assistance and more information on how to recognize and report scammers.

The last few words of the letter are an invitation to a Mortgage Scam & Foreclosure Prevention Workshop at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The workshop will be held on Oct. 13 and more information can be found on The Peoples Website.

The Wave Warns Residents of New Storm Brewing

By KRISTEN KING

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Kevin Boyle is becoming a sort of neighborhood hero as the Editor of The Wave, the Rockaways newspaper since 1893. Residents are flocking to the local paper to keep an ear on what’s going to affect their home next, and according to The Wave, it’s totally necessary.

The Wave has been placing long editorials in their paper, as well as online, with regard to the Biggerts-Waters Act, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), and the rezoning of the Rockaways.

For the first time in 46 years the Rockaways are being rezoned and planning is already heavily underway at the Department of City Planning, according to the Daily News. Many residents of the Rockaways might not be aware that the consequences of the BWA could potentially destabilize many communities once the flood insurance fees kick in. According to The Wave, parts of the Rockaways that are designated as Zone A could be looking at paying costs upwards of $10,000 if they have a basement. The funds that are supposed to come from the CDBG were supposed to be allocated based on need, as well as opinions from the public. But The Wave is skeptical about the details of the 199 page grant after finding out that the time for public comment had already passed. No one at The Wave was contacted about informing the community.

The Wave is calling B.S. on The NYC Housing Recovery Office and their want for “community input.” In a long editorial release on Apr. 5, the paper goes on to talk about the trap surrounding SBA loans and money from FEMA. New zoning laws and damage alone could begin to cripple many residents as they begin to try and raise their homes above sea levels, accommodate new additions, or find ways to heat their homes.

The Wave continues to urge residents to keep an eye on flood insurance and to reach out to those in charge like Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Their most recent editorial was titled, “Super Storm FEMA.”