When Bill de Blasio ran for mayor of New York City in 2013, he promised to end the “tale of two Cities,” one for the rich and the other for the poor. He said he would build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. In order to do this his Department of City Planning devised a plan to rezone 10 Latinx and African American working-class neighborhoods to expand upscale residential and mixed-use buildings using MIH and 421a tax credits. In “Zoning for the 1 Percent,” I report on and analyze one of de Blasio’s efforts, called Inwood/NYC in Northern Manhattan. Write an essay that explains why neighborhood residents and housing activists and small business owners were opposed to de Blasio’s Inwood/NYC plan. Your essay should explain what MIH is (how it works), 421a and density-bonuses are. What is the relationship between neighborhood rezonings, like Inwood/NYC, and gentrification – which causes displacement of low-income residents and increasing homelessness? What is one of the “rituals of community involvement” that I describe in the article? How did community activists try and stop the plan from going forward? Why did the City Council approve the plan in August 2018? The end of the article speaks to the only way to address this continuing affordable housing crisis. What is it?
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