Stringer speaks at BRIC gentrification town hall
Calls for Community-Based Planning
New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer delivered opening remarks before more than 300 community members at the “Brooklyn For Sale: The Price of Gentrification, A Community Town Hall” at BRIC headquarters in Fort Greene on Wednesday. The event aired live on Brooklyn Independent Media and on radio at WBAI 99.5 FM.
The packed meeting highlighted the urgent concern in Brooklyn about the rapid loss of affordable units throughout the city and the uprooting of established communities due to aggressive development. Stringer gave remarks to kick off a panel discussion, moderated by Brian Vines, which included local academics, housing experts and advocates and Councilmember Robert Cornegy.
“New Yorkers created all of these incredible communities — and now land value is going up because of the sweat equity of people who have lived in them and made them better. Speculators want to evict these entire neighborhoods, and we can’t let that happen. The way that we begin a process of fighting back is by organizing at the grassroots level and calling for community-based planning,” Stringer said.
Stringer’s 2014 report, “The Growing Gap,” detailed the rapid decline in affordable housing options in the city. The report found that housing in New York City became less affordable since 2000 as median apartment rents rose by 75 percent while real income declined.
“The fact that we have lost 400,000 apartments that rent for less than $1000/month over the last 12 years tells all of us that we have a housing crisis that must be dealt with, and it must be dealt with now,” Stringer said. “This is an important forum, thanks to BRIC for bringing us together. Let’s start organizing and stop agonizing!”
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