Achieving Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious goal of creating 80,000 new affordable housing units within the next decade will require significant amounts of newly constructed residential buildings, as well as places to put them. To this end, the de Blasio administration has proposed the rezoning of 15 neighborhoods throughout New York City to allow for greater density. While the Housing Plan will create much-needed affordable housing, the prospect of rezoning can also cause trepidation among current neighborhood residents. To further explore how rezonings will impact homeowners, the Center held a convening with our network on August 4 to discuss homeowner involvement and education in the rezoning process.

 At the event, we heard from Emily Goldstein from the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD), who provided an overview of the Mayor’s newly announced mandatory inclusionary zoning proposal, while Kayla Rivera of Cypress Hills LDC discussed the lessons learned from their organizing work and their proposed alternative rezoning plan for their neighborhood. James Hong of the MinKwon Center for Community Action highlighted their recent community survey of community concerns in Flushing, and finally, Jessica Yager from the NYU Furman Center discussed the Furman Center’s research and helped to explain policy considerations and implications to give a full picture of the rezoning plan. The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) also presented on their various workshops that educate and engage community members about the rezoning process and affordable housing policies.

The panel was followed by discussions on topics ranging from rising property values to deed theft scams to community priorities. As we at the Center work with our network to promote and protect affordable homeownership, we hope to continue the conversation about the role of middle- and working-class homeownership in New York City’s affordable housing plan, and spread awareness to our network on the resources available for the communities they serve.

A huge thank you to all our panelists, as well as everyone who came out for an informative and thought-provoking event!