Take Action List!
Here are 6 actions to take this week. Please cc or email to firstname.lastname@example.org what you did so we can keep track of all actions.
1. Contact the Mayor!
By phone – 311, by mail to Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Hall, New York, NY 10007 or go to http://www.nyc.gov/html/static/pages/officeofthemayor/contact.shtml but this last is limited to 300 words.
Make the following succinct points:
Mayor de Blasio, use your bully pulpit and the power of the Mayor’s office to protect affordable housing in Prospect Lefferts Gardens! Put a temporary stop (a limited moratorium) to luxury development while we are waiting to be properly zoned.
· PLG already has dense corridors of affordable housing in this mixed-race, mixed-income community with a median income of $41,000.
· Hudson Properties is putting up a 23 story luxury tower in the heart of this low-rise community (only one building complex over 6 stories) using $71+ million of state funds—so 50 apartments will be so-called affordable (not affordable to our residents) while 200 luxury apartments will overlook Prospect Park.
· This will lead to secondary displacement of far more than 50 apartments—a net loss of truly affordable housing. Landlords are already harassing tenants in rent stabilized buildings while small landlords are raising rents in housing without rent protections. Local merchants are being offered shorter leases.
· Our residents, CB9 and our Council Member have asked for contextual zoning since 2008--always denied--making it the ONLY community bordering Prospect Park without protective zoning, for example Park Slope.
· ALL community groups* and hundreds of residents want the tower lowered, with more affordable units that are family size and affordable to members of this community.
· You know Hudson Properties. You’ve appointed a Hudson rep to the Rent Guidelines Board. They will listen to you when you say you want more affordable units while at the same time protecting the existing affordable homes in the neighborhood. You should reject this luxury tower shadowing the new Lakeside Complex in Prospect Park with rents up to $1,000 or more above the current neighborhood market.
· Urge him to meet with a delegation from PLG CBOs.
Mr. Mayor, this 23 story luxury tower is low-density—3.4. We will accept some higher density with lower height, and more affordable units for working families, contextual with the existing affordable housing in PLG. Email PPEastnet@gmail.com or call 347 413-9273 to arrange a meeting.
* Groups (CBOs) in support of lowering the tower and more affordable apartments include: Prospect Park East Network (PPEN), Prospect Lefferts Garden Neighborhood Association (PLGNA), Flatbush Tenants’ Coalition (FTC), Lefferts Manor Association (LMA), Chester Court Block Association, Ocean on the Park Historic District, Community Board 9, and 2,000+ signatures on the PPEN petition and 500+ outraged neighbors that attended the Eric Adams Town Hall Meeting (with Council Member Eugene and State Senator Parker) April 7 and implored our elected officials to do something!
2. Contact the City Planning Commission Chairperson Carl Weisbrod, by phone at (212) 720-3300 or by mail at Department of City Planning, 22 Reade Street, New York, NY 10007-1216.
And make the following succinct points:
· The Prospect Park East Network sent you a letter and email on April 23, 2014 asking for an emergency text change in the zoning regulations for only two blocks bordering Prospect Park that are now zoned “as of right.” You never answered or even acknowledged the letter.
· The text change would institute the “Quality Housing Program” rules for these two blocks while the whole district gets studied and rezoned (a 2 year process), which would limit height to 80 feet while promoting more affordable housing.
· Your Brooklyn office refused to consider this request as well as ongoing requests for contextual zoning from CB9 and our council member since 2008, while every other community surrounding Prospect Park is protected.
· Is it because this is the ONLY community surrounding Prospect Park that is significantly diverse (50% Black and 50% everyone else) and poor compared to the other communities (median area income approximately $41,000 for a family of 4)?
· We need you to ACT NOW to protect the existing extensive affordable units in this neighborhood (the Flatbush/Ocean corridors are the densest in Brooklyn) or we will end up with a row of luxury towers shadowing the gem of Brooklyn, Prospect Park, while lower income tenants and seniors will be forced to vacate this neighborhood, as has happened in Harlem.
· Urge Commissioner Weisbrod to meet with representatives of the community-based organizations and CB 9. Contact PPEastnet@gmail.com or call 347 413-9273 to arrange a meeting.
3. JOIN OUR DEMONSTRATION on the steps of City Hall on Friday, June 6, 1 - 2 PM. (Be sure to have photo ID)
· Invite 5 friends and neighbors to come with you!
· Make signs and bring them!
· Contact any press you know!
4. JOIN our weekly leafleting, petitioning and tabling on Saturdays from 1 – 3 PM at 626 Flatbush Avenue corner of Fenimore.
5. Contact Public Advocate Letitia James by phone at 212 669-7200 or mail at 1 Centre Street, #1500, New York, NY 10007. Or email email@example.com
· Make the points listed above and urge her to contact the Mayor on behalf of PLG.
· Ask for a meeting with her and representatives of PLG to strategize next steps, as we believe she will support this community in its efforts to protect the existing affordable housing base. Email PPEastnet@gmail.com or call 347 413-9273 to arrange a meeting.
6. Contact Comptroller Scott Stringer by phone at (212) 669-3916 or by mail at Office of the Comptroller City of New York, One Centre Street, New York, NY 10007
· Make the points listed above and urge him to contact the Mayor on behalf of PLG.
· Ask for a meeting with him and representatives of PLG to strategize on ways the City Comptroller Office can help prevent another community tragedy, where, like Harlem, luxury development leads to secondary displacement on long standing, low income neighbors. He has a stated commitment to Affordable Housing and he needs to know that a luxury tower, with 50 so-called affordable units will end up displacing hundreds of existing affordable apartments. Contact PPEastnet@gmail.com or call 347 413-9273 to arrange a meeting.