Housing Rousings

Broadway Triangle settlement, Tenants stand up to NYCHA construction, and New Tenant Protections

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Martin S. Needelman, Exec. Dir. Brooklyn Legal Services Corp. A; Councilmember Antonio Reynoso; Juan Ramos, Exec. Dir. Southside United H.D.F.C/Los Sures; Shekar Krishnan, Dir. of the Group Representation Unit, Brooklyn Legal Services Corp. A; and former Dep. Brooklyn Borough Pres. Diana Reyna at a 2015 rally for the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition.

Broadway Triangle Settlement Will Produce Twice the Affordable Apartments

The affordable housing development at Broadway Triangle is free to get underway. On December 4, 2017, the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition (BTCC), the New York Civil Liberties Union, Brooklyn Legal Services Corp. A, and Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP announced that a settlement was reached with New York City. This settlement reconfigures the plan to accommodate more than double the amount of the original plan’s units. This is because 2/3rds of the units will be 1 and 2 bedroom sized whereas the original plan had more multiple bedroom units. In addition the 50% residential preference will now include Bed-Stuy, instead of Williamsburg only; which disallows a more segregated demographic.

“After years of effort, today’s settlement means the city will properly respond to the real needs of our diverse communities in North Brooklyn,” said Juan Ramos of the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition.

This issue originally took root in 2009 when the City of New York rezoned the Broadway Triangle as a residential zone from a manufacturing one. Seeing the potential that this rezoning could potentially shut out Latino and African-American residents the BTCC immediately filed their suit.

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Activists from the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition have fought a long hard battle, which ended in a victorious settlement on December 4th

Those who were for the original plan feel this new ruling is unfair. Rabbi David Niederman, the president of UJO, said, “The proposed deal is not a settlement. It is a sell-out to politically-connected biased groups with a history of using lawsuits to further its anti-Semitic goal of preventing Jewish families in Williamsburg from finding housing.”

Nicholas Paolucci, Director of Public Affairs and Press Secretary for the Law Department of New York City, stated, “The City’s priority has been to get the most affordable housing possible in this neighborhood, and to put this longstanding litigation behind us so this community can focus on the future.”

Cooper Park Tenants Protest Proposed Construction

During a recent NYCHA Town Hall meeting, Cooper Park Houses residents took the opportunity to voice their opposition to the proposed plan to build 50-50 mixed affordable and market rate housing on one of their parking lots. However it seemed that NYCHA was only there to show and tell but not there to listen. Residents’ concerns they will lose necessary parking, natural light, privacy, and other quality of life requirements looked to fall on deaf ears.

A private builder will lease the lot, and reportedly half the funds will go toward critical repairs and upkeep at Cooper Park Houses. It is estimated that the new building would be 14–15 stories tall to accommodate 200–250 units.

Tenant Protection Plan:

On Thursday, December 28th, new rules will have gone into effect in NYC for tenant protection plans. Building owners must notify the Department of Buildings (DOB) at least 72 hours prior to starting work whenever permitted construction work occurs in an occupied building. Owners must provide the (DOB) with more detailed information on how exactly they will protect their tenants and quality of life during construction operations. These new rules also compel owners to provide copies of the tenant protection plan to tenants upon request.

Certificate of No Harassment:

On November 30 the NYC Council passed Intro 0521. This law in a nutshell means building owners seeking to demolish or make significant alterations to their buildings in designated areas (one of which includes Bushwick) will have to prove that they have not engaged in harassment before they can receive the permits from the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB). This is another measure to prevent landlords from driving out tenants for the sole reason of renovating their properties in order to significantly increase the rent.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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