Council Members Claim SoHo Rezoning Needs More Affordable Housing Before Getting Go-Ahead
Two council members whose approvals are needed to move the rezoning of SoHo and NoHo forward are pushing for more affordable units before they will give their blessing.
Council members Margaret Chin and Carlina Rivera are asking the Department of City Planning to “come back to the table” and create a rezoning plan that will make sure there is more affordable housing included in the plan, according to multiple reports. The members, both of whom represent part of the area set for rezoning, need to agree to the plan before it can go ahead. In a letter released Tuesday, Chin and Rivera said the department “has not addressed real issues raised by sincere housing and community advocates,” the New York Post reports.
They said there has been significant "fear-mongering" and disrespect shown to community groups throughout the process. The rezoning would allow for mixed-use development in SoHo and NoHo, increasing the area’s commercial and residential density.
“At a time when our city is desperately in need of affordable homes — particularly in wealthy, centrally located neighborhoods where no new affordable housing has been built and no affordable units currently exist — we must do better,” the members said in a statement, per the Post.
A lawsuit had stopped the rezoning from moving forward, with community groups claiming the city should have to hold in-person meetings to properly meet the requirements process. However, a court said in June the process could move forward and that Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration had met the adequate requirements.
Community groups in Gowanus had launched similar actions, but that rezoning was given the green light to continue through the process back in April.