Friday, July 26, 2013

Get Involved This Weekend: Council Race Events, Affordable Housing Petitions, and SOS Crown Heights March with 100 Men

In addition to the "Hipsters for de Blasio" event below, there are lots of ways to get involved in the neighborhood this weekend.

- As noted on the flyer above, SOS Crown Heights hosts a "March with 100 Men" tomorrow to end violence in Crown Heights. Complete info above.

- City Council candidates are also out and about this weekend. You can catch Ede Fox tonight at JACK just across Atlantic in Clinton Hill from 6-8pm, and Laurie Cumbo tomorrow at her office on Lincoln Place between Franklin and Classon from 2-4pm. These races matter too - as the New York Times reported back in May, NYC's developers are entering into these races in a big, targeted way after Citizen's United, and the issues we've been discussing on the threads below - development and gentrification - will loom large in these campaigns.

- If you want to get out and do some direct action around Affordable Housing, the Crown Heights Assembly is leading an online and offline petition drive regarding the current re-zoning proposal. You can sign the petition here. More info below, passed on by the CHA:

The Crown Heights Assembly just released a petition for the New York City Council to include guarantees for affordable housing and increase penalties for landlords harassing tenants in the Crown Heights West rezoning. Despite the drastic increase in rent in the Crown Heights neighborhood, the proposed rezoning for Crown Heights West offers no guarantees that new housing will be affordable to existing residents. The rezoning only includes a voluntary incentive, called Inclusionary Zoning, for developers to build some affordable units within market-rate developments. This incentive has a track record in NYC of resulting in few affordable units, and a vast array of luxury housing. 

Regardless of whether developers take the affordable housing incentive, they would be allowed to build larger buildings, which would increase the property value. This could mean: 
• Rents could increase. 
• Existing housing and retail space could be demolished. 
• Tenants could face increased harassment to leave their apartments. 

We need your help to tell the New York City Council to include protections for affordable housing and increased penalties for harassing tenants in the proposed Crown Heights West rezoning. We're asking NYC to: 
1. Adopt Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning, a policy that guarantees a certain percentage of affordable units in new developments under a rezoning. 
2. Establish an anti-harassment area, which requires the City to look into whether harassment occurred when it receives demolition requests and penalizes landlords who harass tenants. 

To sign on to the petition, visit http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/guarantee-affordable. 
Signatories should be Crown Heights residents, but they don't need to live in the area of the rezoning. Please take a minute to sign it right now and post it to your Facebook!
The Crown Heights Assembly is also looking for volunteers to collect signatures on Franklin Avenue:
Thursday, August 1st, 6-8 pm
Saturday, August 3rd, 3-6 pm
Meet at Franklin Ave and Eastern Parkway on the pedestrian mall on the northeast corner (nearest the new construction). Please email (elana.bulman@gmail.com)  to sign up. 

2 comments:

  1. Experience has shown that creating affordable housing through Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning (MIZ) alone, often leads to undesired effects.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusionary_zoning

    Whether MIZ is likely to work depends on local macro economic and political conditions, and whether it is supported by policies such as these:

    https://www.appleseednetwork.org/preserving-affordable-housing-in-gentrifying-areas/

    Like it or not, we are presently in an environment in which we dream of preserving the existing stock of affordable housing.

    ...expanding the affordable housing stock through MIZ and then being able to sustain the housing once it is erect is beyond my wildest, and wettest dreams.

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