East Harlem Residents Flood Community Board Meeting to Protest Rezoning Plan

Last night, members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio marched into a meeting of Manhattan’s Community Board 11 making a powerful public stand against the Mayor’s proposed rezoning of their East Harlem community. Movement for Justice in El Barrio shared their opposition as well as community-generated proposals to preserve rent-stabilized housing in East Harlem. Community members argued that Mayor De Blasio’s rezoning plan is a Luxury Housing Plan that will cater to newer, wealthier residents from outside East Harlem and cause the displacement of long-term, low income residents from their homes and community.

Movement for Justice in El Barrio, made up entirely of low-income residents of East Harlem, has engaged in broad community consultation and analysis of the proposed rezoning since early in 2015. They argue that the rezoning plan will create 70-75% new luxury housing and that these thousands of luxury, market-rate units will put pressure on long-term low income residents, small businesses and street vendors, forcing them out of their community. In addition, tenants argue that new units designated as “affordable” are not within reach of current East Harlem residents. In the plan, for the 25-30% of units set aside as “affordable,” the average incomes range from $46,620 to $62,150 for a family of three – well above $33,600, the East Harlem area median income (AMI) for a family of four. Community residents claim that these so-called “affordable” units, like the luxury units, are really designated for wealthier residents who do not currently live in East Harlem.

Read the full article at the Independent.