ZQA/MIH vote this Thursday

Send City Council one last letter before they vote: New Yorkers deserve affordable housing without upzoning the entire city. They have the power to make these decisions, but need to hear from YOU.

Who: NYC City Council

What: Vote on Zoning for Quality & Affordability (ZQA); Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH)

Where: City Hall, Committee Room (Manhattan)

When: Thursday, March 17, 10:00 am 

City Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning & Franchises will vote on ZQA/MIH this Thursday at City Hall. The committee meeting is open to the public–join and listen to Councilmembers’ final phases of deliberation before this plan moves to full Council for a final vote before the end of March, 2016.

HDC testified in opposition at City Council’s public hearings in February, and we weren’t alone. The majority of dismay toward ZQA and its sibling, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) were from community boards city-wide, where there was disapproval across the boards, including strong opposition from 4 of the 5 Borough Boards. The majority of community boards across the city (including all of the boards in the Bronx) voted against ZQA/MIH DESPITE the Mayor’s promise of increasing housing affordability. Despite this opposition, ZQA/MIH has moved forward with several adjustments.

HDC thanks the Council for its consideration of widespread concerns that were risen at public hearings. de Blasio and City Council have acquiesced some, but certainly not all, of the controversies of ZQA/MIH. Thus far, some changes made are as follows: affordability brackets have been adjusted to decrease income requirements for housing, responding to Comptroller Stringer’s analysis of East New York which found that MIH would actually accelerate and increase displacement there, rather than house New Yorkers. Senior housing was also increased by 50 square feet per unit, and Manhattan below Harlem will now be exempt from a proposed five foot increase, while Upper Manhattan and all other boroughs will still see this small, yet impacting, height increase. This is substantial, as many outer borough neighborhoods that lack historic district designation, but enjoy contextual zoning, will be at risk due to this increase.

The income adjustments are certainly more inclusionary of low-incomes, but HDC remains concerned with upzonings so massive that they are on par with urban renewal. We reiterate our stance that finding a solution for housing in New York should not be synonymous with high-density and private, market-rate development. HDC also is deeply concerned about the impact of ZQA/MIH on the existing people and places that upzoning will affect, which is why we are actively working with Preserve East New York.

Send one final letter to City Council’s Land Use Committee before the vote on Thursday. To send, please click here.