Leaders of North Brooklyn housing groups, along with Council Members Diana Reyna and David Yassky, are protesting and demanding the restoration of the HPDâ€™s proposed $730,000 cut in $2 million anti-displacement funding provided as part of the cityâ€™s 2005 waterfront rezoning.
Said Richard Mazur of the North Brooklyn Tenant Anti-Displacement Collaborative, â€śThe proposed cuts constitute an egregious breach of the agreement that was essential to the city obtaining community approval of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint East River Waterfront Rezoning.
â€śAnd more important, those funds are critical to protecting long-term residents against the devastating gentrification and displacement impacts of the massive luxury housing development permitted by that rezoning.â€ť
Mazur cites Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroffâ€™s May 2, 2005, rezoning â€śPoints of Agreementâ€ť summary, which included the following:
The Administration agrees to create a Tenant Legal Fund of $2 million â€” to be managed by HPD â€” using the proceeds received from the sale of the air rights of the MTA site on Commercial Street in Greenpoint. The Fund will primarily serve to protect existing tenants from displacement and harassment.
Councilmember Reyna, added: â€śThese cuts are disproportionate and unfair; they serve to underscore what many of us have suspected since the rezoning points of agreement were reached three years ago â€” that the administration offered no more than empty promises to this community.â€ť
The Collaborative includes: Churches United, Southside United, St. Nickâ€™s Neighborhood Preservation Corp., Peopleâ€™s Firehouse, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, North Brooklyn Development Corp. and Brooklyn Legal Services Corp.A.
Mazur said he was recently told by the HPD that the $1.3 million two year contract that it had been awarded, out of the total $2 million, would be reduced by 30 percent in the first year retroactive to July 1, 2008, and then reduced by 43 percent as of July 1, 2009.
Â© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2008
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