Downtown Activists Vs. Luxury Housing on Public Land


Local activists in Chinatown and the Lower East Side proposed on Tuesday rezoning their neighborhoods to limit luxury development and promote the development of urgently-needed low-income housing

The rezoning plan was created by residents, small business owners, and community organizations to protect the interest of low income families, prevent displacement and insure that only low-income housing be built on public land.

“After 12-years of Bloomberg 20 percent of low-income housing is just not enough,” said Anj Chaudhry, a group spokesman. “It’s time for our community to have a say in how our community is being developed.”

NYCHA resident Louise Velez cited Mayor de Blasio’s promise to reduce equality. Velez, urging him to work with residents to stop luxury development on NYCHA public land.

“We suffer from years of Bloomberg’s community development policies that displaced so many people from our communities,” said Cathy Dang, executive director of Organizing Asian Communities. “We won’t ever be able to replace the 15,000 regulated apartment units but we can strive to make it to that point.”

The group urged civic leaders to foster community review; and enact anti-harassment and anti-demolition provisions by landlords.

The group planned to organize a postcard campaign to remind the mayor of their concerns.

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