De Blasio touts affordable housing plan in Flatbush

March 18, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Councilmember Mathieu Eugene presided over the town hall. Photo courtesy of Eugene’s office
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Three days before his controversial affordable housing plan sailed through two key City Council panels, Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared at a Flatbush town hall and told hundreds of residents his proposal is good for New York, according to organizers of the event.

The town hall, held March 14 at P.S. 6, at 43 Snyder Ave., was hosted by Councilmember Mathieu Eugene (D-Kensington-Flatbush-Lefferts Gardens). Eugene also served as the event’s moderator.

Community Board 14, Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, Church Avenue Business Improvement District, CAMBA, Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Ditmas Park Rehab/Care Center, and the Flatbush Development Corporation co-sponsored the meeting.

In addition to affordable housing, de Blasio took questions from residents on homelessness, transportation and a variety of other local issues, organizers said. 

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But the affordable housing plan was front and center at the town hall.

“Housing is a basic human right and everyone in our city deserves to have a place to call home,” Eugene said in a statement. “I am pleased that Mayor de Blasio accepted my invitation to discuss his affordable housing plan with our community and I look forward to working with him to ensure that everyone in our city receives the housing they deserve.”

While many residents agreed with the premise of affordable housing, concerns were expressed in Eugene’s council district that the original plan did not provide enough housing for low-income residents. 

Eugene said the council worked to get changes put into the proposal.

“I’m so pleased that Mayor de Blasio heard our community’s concerns and has agreed to include a level of deeper affordability so that more families and individuals will be helped by this plan,” Eugene said. 

The ambitious plan by de Blasio to build thousands of units of affordable housing over the next decade would require making changes to the city’s zoning codes.

The mayor’s two affordable housing proposals, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability, were approved by the City Council’s Land Use Committee and the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises on Thursday, following a series of negotiations between de Blasio and council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Councilmember David Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst), who serves as chairman of the Land Use Committee, told the New York Observer that the affordable housing plan was a big step forward for the city.

“This is literally the best affordable housing plan of any city in the United States of America,” the Observer quoted Greenfield as saying.

The mayor’s plan will now go to the full council for a vote, where it is expected to pass.


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