Book gentrification New York City De Blasio Bloomberg Urban Planning

In many of the neighborhoods targeted by the de Blasio administration for a rezoning, rising levels of rent are occurring simultaneous to increases in poverty in certain census tracts—creating a complicated picture, where the threats of gentrification are felt equally alongside the pains of deprivation. According to the report, released in conjunction with the 2016 State of New York City Housing and Neighborhoods Report, in the 2011-2015 span, 20.6 percent of New Yorkers lived in poverty—up from 2006-2010, when 19.1 percent of New Yorkers were considered impoverished. A family of two adults and two children is considered below the poverty line if their annual income is less than $24,036. Read more

The city’s bid to rezone a large chunk of Harlem will increase the development potential of at least 50 properties owned by a motley collection of landlords—some of whom may be less than deserving of a big payday. A Manhattan community board is set to weigh in this month on the East Harlem rezoning plan, which will boost the allowable size of buildings along certain corridors of a 96-block area.

The change could create as many as 3,500 new apartments if the City Council signs off on the plan by the end of the year. The initiative is meant to both jump-start new construction and influence the scope of projects that likely would have happened even without rezoning. All developers who receive a density boost will be required to include affordable housing in their new projects.

Recasting a neighborhood in this way can often deliver big benefits to longtime owners who have stuck with the area during less prosperous times. But a...

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