Brooklyn Councilmember Crystal Hudson claimed victory after two April rezonings yielded 35 percent affordable housing. But details on non-profit partners and anti-displacement commitments were revealed only after repeated inquiries. Even now, formal documents remain under wraps.
The latest version of the Innovation Qns plan features 1,436 income-restricted apartments, around 45 percent of the total. “We have set a new precedent for building affordable housing on private land,” the neighborhood’s Councilmember Julie Won said in prepared remarks ahead of the vote.
The latest vacancy data now mirrors pre-COVID figures following a “pandemic-height outlier,” according to New York State’s affordable housing agency. The number of empty apartments also matches the vacancy rate prior to landmark 2019 tenant protections that landlords blamed for the spike in empty units last year.
The program run by the organization Volunteers of America-Greater New York has been called a positive first step, though the 80 units represent a sliver of New York City’s vacant supportive housing stock.
New York City Comptroller Brad Lander called the short-lived tent complex a “debacle” for humanitarian and financial reasons.
At a virtual rally on Sunday, parents, young people and advocates in the city and across the state shared stories about the impact of the pandemic and renewed calls for elected officials to invest more in behavioral health programs and services for children and teens, which experts say have been underfunded for years and are now at a breaking point, with increased demand spurred by the coronavirus crisis.