Jewishupdates's Blog

December 21, 2009

Breaking News: NYC Council Approves Affordable Housing in Williamsburg

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 11:10 pm

Breaking News: NYC Council Approves Affordable Housing in Williamsburg

The New York City Council today approved a plan to re-zone the vacant land known as the “Broadway Triangle” in Williamsburg Brooklyn by a vote of 36 in favor, 10 opposed and four abstentions. The plan to rezone 31 acres of prime real estate has been debated for the last year. On the one side was the team of Assemblyman Vito Lopez and Rabbi David Niedermanworking in favor of the plan, andon the other side was Councilwoman Diana Reyna working with a handful of local community activists who opposed it. The rezoning will allow 1,851 of new housing units to be built of which as many as 844 units will be set-aside for affordable housing.

The critics of the plan have attacked the plan, which includes a proposal to build many three and four bedroom units, as discriminatory in that it favor Chasidic Jews who have large families. The debate spilled over into a race for New York City Council this year when Assemblyman Vito Lopez backed a challenger to incumbent Councilmember Diana Reyna. In a hotly contested race, the challenger lost by a couple of hundred votes.

Closer to home, Assemblyman Lopez backed his staffer, Stephen Levin, to replace another of the plan’s supporters – Councilman David Yassky. Mr. Levin went on to win the race for New York City Council by a landslide with the support of Rabbi Niederman. Sources say that Mr. Levin actively worked on this rezoning in his capacity as Lopez’s Chief of Staff and is committed to seeing the project built under his tenure over the next four years.

The bottom line: when this development goes up it will create hundreds of units of affordable housing for a community that desperately needs it.

(Shlomo Katz – YWN)


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