Time For Action

"[NYC's] great property values make it more attractive for some to speculate – often meaning ousting small business that helped build that value. Each month, an average of 491 NYC small businesses are evicted. Commercial rents are skyrocketing, and all over the city, mom and pops have closed, replaced by banks and chain stores.

The speculation results in entrepreneurs losing their dream, their livelihood, and for residents, shuttered neighborhood favorites. Mom and pops and professionals are the lifeblood of our communities. They are a stepladder to a better life, and provide habitability and services.

NYC Council Members do not have easy jobs with a fickle public: But if they could hammer out passage of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, they could save the city. "

Text excerpted from Noble Work by Patricia Dorfman,
director of the Sunnyside Chamber Of Commerce

Affordable For Who?

The Mayor's housing plan leaves behind the New York's most vulnerable: Under the current plan, over 1/3rd of NYC households are too poor to afford the Mayor's "low-income" housing. Fast-food worker and homecare worker will not be able to afford the vast majority of apartments under this plan, and because the plan does not include labor standards to protect good union jobs, the New Yorkers who build the Mayor's "affordable housing" won't be able to afford it! Too many families will be at risk of displacement and homelessness unless the city figures out a plan to create truly affordable housing. Join Real Affordability For All and other community activists on Tuesday, February 23rd at 10:30AM in City Hall Park to ask the Mayor, "affordable for who?"

One Size Does Not Fit All!

"Zoning for Quality & Affordability (ZQA) is a wholesale upzoning of the entire city, and will not guarantee either goal of affordability or quality. There is no panacea for NYC’s affordable housing crisis, and ZQA is not even a cure for its symptoms. Rather, it seems that ZQA is a concession to developers to sweeten Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH), the only part of this proposal which might actually provide “affordable” units. ZQA loosens the entire city’s existing zoning to allow greater density for market-rate development, under the guise of creating affordable units, which, as we all know, is optional... This upzoning amendment raises height limits and diminishes yard requirements across the city according to a mathematical nicety, without examining the built fabric of our city’s neighborhoods. Contextual zones came to fruition after years of effort by community-driven, carefully examined, neighborhood-specific studies. NYC thrives because of the diversity of its neighborhoods, yet this proposal’s approach will deal with each neighborhood as the same, with a one-size-fits-all approach."

Whether his heart is in the right place or not, the concessions Mayor de Blasio is making to the real estate industry in an effort to create what amounts to not enough affordable housing units, at a truly affordable rate, is incredibly troubling. The re-zoning and up-zoning will enable developers to reshape and rebrand neighborhoods, which will in turn skyrocket rents, making entire areas unaffordable to the average New Yorker.

The public hearing on Zoning for Quality & Affordability and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing is February 9th and February 10th (at 9:30AM both days). Join activists from across the five boroughs at City Hall (between Broadway, Park Row, and Chambers Street) and tell the NYC City Council that New Yorkers deserve affordable housing without upzoning the entire city.

If you can't make the hearings, the Historic Districts Council and Greenwich Village Society For Historic
Preservation have made it easy to send letters to the entire City Council: HDC letter | GVSHP letter.

Abridged quote from the Historic Districts Council Statement to NYC City Council on ZQA/MIH.

A Tale of Two Cities

Keep the pressure on... Join us for "The People's Response to the State of the City" and speak on topics such as the destruction and displacement of our communities for big business and real estate interests!