3 thoughts on “Inwood Board Calls for Major Changes in De Blasio Rezoning Plan

  1. When Adriano Espaillat’s concept gets fleshed-out who knows what percent of the units will be affordable. Here at the outset it’s easy enough to project that they’ll all be ‘affordable’; but, that requires a huge injection of government funds. Does that sound feasible in the Trump era? The only alternative is to sacrifice some of the affordable units and rent them to people from upper end of the market. If that should come to pass, there will be that many fewer apartments for the typical mix of CB12 residents who might apply for such units.

    Then there’s there’s the matter of the current court challenge to neighborhood preferences. If that is rejected by the court, then things will remain as they are now. That is: there will be a lottery where basically 50% of the ‘affordable’ units are awarded to CB12 resident applicants and the balance among applicants city-wide. (There are a few other preferences involved)

    If the court case rules that local set-asides are illegal, then ONLY VERY FEW of the ‘affordable’ units will go to CB12 residents – in proportion to their fraction of the total number of qualified applicants.

    To sum up:
    To the extent that market rate units have to be included in order to subsidize the affordable units, those market rate apartments will be of lesser benefit to CB12 residents.

    Even if all units are ‘affordable’, if the court case throws out the set aside for local residents, very few will go to CB12 residents who would be competing with every qualified applicant from the 5 boros.

    If the set-asides are preserved, then, locals will have a better chance of getting an apartment. But, even then the odds among locals will be a long shot – not that that’s a basis for complaint. Such units are typically swamped with applications.

    Thus, there’s uncertainty whether the 5000 units the Congressman is proposing for the CB12 area will be of benefit to typical CB12 residents. To say that these 5000 apartments “are being obtained FOR OUR COMMUNITY” comes with no guarantee.

    Getting a good outcome will depend on Inwood residents informing themselves about the full opportunities and risks of every proposal. That is true whether one is inclined to be a fan or critic of any proposal, or of any politician or group advocating such a proposal.

    So far none of these has done a good job of fleshing out what they’re talking about. The situation cries for objective analysis AND neutral consideration of the needs of Inwood’s residents. With that in hand the community’s voice will be powerful enough to stand up to the outside forces who who see Inwood and Washington Heights as places to be plundered.

    PS: The library matter is critical. Given that something like hundreds of millions will be spent to build to build 5000 apartments, and even more per the EDC’s plan, the lot across Broadway should be bought and a replacement library built there. That land cost would be a ‘drop in the bucket’ in view of the satisfaction and good will it would obtain. This would allow uninterrupted library service – since, upon completion, the old library’s contents could be moved over to its new & improved home. Even more housing units could be built on top of that as well as at the old library site. It’s a win-win proposition.

    Marshall Douglas.

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