Harlem Council Speaker Unveils Plan For East Harlem

Melissa-Mark-Viverito (1)East Harlem residents wants affordable housing, job growth and open space—but above all, they want a say in the land-use changes coming to their community, according to the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan unveiled Thursday.


Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last year that he intends to rezone East Harlem. That prompted City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and the local community board to kick off a process to determine neighborhood priorities.

Their 138-page plan is the culmination of months of public forums and workshops focused on issues including housing preservation, transportation and the arts. It includes zoning-specific recommendations, including the goal of 100% affordable housing on city-owned sites and upzoning portions of the avenues in East Harlem.

Half of new housing developed in the community should be affordable to moderate and low-income people, the plan states, and of that, 20% should be designated for extremely low-income households.

Those recommendations rely on the de Blasio administration’s proposed mandatory inclusionary housing zoning amendment, but they are far more aggressive in accommodating low-income tenants, raising the question of whether the plan is viable without heavy subsidies.

The plan also spells out local needs that are not zoning-related, such as increased funding for HIV prevention and career and technical education.

“Physical development and human capital development must go hand in hand,” Mark-Viverito said in a statement. “We need to be as focused on supporting neighborhood economies, re-investing in schools and open space, and creating room for social-service and cultural organizations as we are on urban renewal, rezoning, and housing production.”

Via Crains New York

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