City Defames Community Groups Who Oppose SoHo/NoHo Plan; Documenting Vulnerable Tenants Rezoning Plan Will Hurt; New Flyer to Mobilize Neighbors Against Upzoning

Some important updates for you regarding the City’s massive, precedent-setting SoHo/NoHo Upzoning Plan:

City Attacks Community

At last week’s final Community Board 2 public hearing on the plan, the Department of City Planning presented a great deal of false information about the proposal (about the degree of the proposed upzoning, the impact on low-income rent-regulated tenants, the loopholes in the plan for affordable housing), and then went a step further. After Christopher Marte, presumptive Democratic nominee for the First City Council District, spoke about his opposition to the plan based upon concerns about displacement (among other factors), City Planning representatives stated (captured on video) that they believe community groups (including Village Preservation and more than a dozen others) opposing the City’s plan and advocating for alternatives that would not have the same negative effect, are “not motivated by a genuine concern for displacement or a genuine desire to introduce more housing affordability,” a view that was shared by the entire city agency. This outrageous comment is not only a wholly inappropriate defamation of the integrity of hard-working community groups, but also an attempt on the part of this agency and administration to deflect attention from their miserable failed track record on protecting or helping lower-income New Yorkers or addressing issues like displacement or affordability. Village Preservation and fellow groups that were the subject of this verbal assault wrote to the Mayor and the agency head, as well as local elected officials who have been involved with this process, to demand these statements be condemned and appropriate action taken against those who made and countenanced them. Read the letter here, and read coverage here.

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Spotlighting Vulnerable Victims of de Blasio Plan

The group most likely to be hurt by the proposed SoHo/NoHo rezoning (which actually includes Chinatown) is lower- and moderate-income rent-regulated tenants, who are disproportionately seniors and Asian American, and disproportionately live in the area targeted for the largest upzoning, which also creates the largest incentive for demolition and displacement. Village Preservation has been telling their stories as part of our series “Tenants In the Crosshairs: The SoHo/NoHo Rezoning Plan Victims The Mayor Wants You To Forget.” These stories are being shared with decision-makers and the press to help illustrate the very real danger the SoHo/NoHo Upzoning Plan presents to vulnerable New Yorkers. If you have a story to share, contact us at info@gvshp.org.


Flyer Helps Fight the Plan

We’ve created a new flyer for you to share to educate and activate friends and neighbors about the dangers of the de Blasio upzoning plan and what they can do about it – CLICK HERE.

Click on the image above to download the flyer.

Next Steps

Community Board 2 will be formulating its response to the plan and presenting it for approval by its full board on July 26th; the public can testify to urge the plan be rejected and highlight the many ways it will harm our neighborhoods and our city. From there, Borough President Gale Brewer will issue her recommendation, followed by hearings and votes by the City Planning Commission (controlled by the Mayor) and the City Council (which must approve it in order to be enacted), where Councilmembers Margaret Chin, Carlina Rivera, and Corey Johnson will likely decide its fate. Once those hearings have been scheduled, we will let you know.

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July 14, 2021