The New York Housing Conference testified on Tuesday before the City Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises regarding the Gowanus rezoning. We testified supporting the rezoning if it includes a dedicated capital commitment for repairs and upgrades at local NYCHA residences Wyckoff Gardens and Gowanus Houses.

New York City desperately needs more affordable housing and every neighborhood must contribute to the city’s affordable housing development. Bringing affordable housing to Gowanus is particularly important. According to the recent Racial Equity Report from Columbia University, the rezoning will take a wealthier, whiter and lower density neighborhood and make it more diverse and affordable.

Upzoning higher income neighborhoods like Gowanus is a policy with wide appeal – it was one of recommendations of the United for Housing coalition – a coalition led by NYHC and joined by 90 partner organizations in New York City.

The Gowanus Plan came out of an in-depth and inclusive community planning process that should be replicated in future rezonings. It produced a plan that includes mapping Mandatory Inclusionary Housing throughout much of the rezoning area, generating an estimated 3,000 units of desperately needed affordable housing.

As the city’s economy struggles to recover, opportunities like Gowanus rezoning can create needed affordable housing, unlock new tax revenue, refill the construction pipeline, and help local businesses.

Read our testimony here.