Read about progress for the East New York Neighborhood Plan regarding affordable housing, economic development and community resources. NYC Planning presented these progress highlights to the City Planning Commission on Dec. 13, 2021. See the presentation here.
The East New York Neighborhood Plan is a comprehensive neighborhood plan to promote affordable housing preservation and development, encourage economic development, create pedestrian-friendly streets, and invest in community resources to support the long-term growth and sustainability of East New York, Cypress Hills and Ocean Hill. The Plan was developed through a robust community planning process, through close collaboration with residents, stakeholders and elected officials.
The East New York Neighborhood Plan is a part of Housing New York, the Mayor’s housing plan to build and preserve affordable housing through community development initiatives that foster a more equitable and livable New York City.
The East New York Neighborhood Plan includes strategies for:
The East New York Neighborhood Plan and rezoning was approved in April 2016. In June 2017, the City released the first annual Progress Report with updates on each of the plan’s commitments.
The Department of City Planning has developed a proposal for new zoning districts in East New York to allow for new affordable and mixed-income housing and community facilities, encourage new commercial development, and provide requirements for street-level activity on commercial corridors. The zoning would allow medium-density, mixed-use development along key corridors and low-scale infill housing in existing residential areas with small homes. The new zoning, reflected in the map above, was approved with modifications by the City Council on April 20, 2016, and is now in effect. The official zoning can be viewed on Zoning Maps 17c and 17d, which are available here.
Key features of the new zoning include:
Goal: Allow medium-density, mixed-use buildings with affordable housing and neighborhood retail along key corridors
Map residential and commercial zoning districts along the central corridor of Atlantic Avenue which allow maximum permitted heights of 12-14 stories.
Map residential and commercial zoning districts along Pitkin Avenue, Fulton Street, parts of Liberty Avenue, and parts of Ocean Hill to facilitate mixed-use development with maximum permitted heights of 6-10 stories.
Map Special Enhanced Commercial Districts on key corridors to require that all new development includes non-residential ground floor uses such as stores or community facilities in order to create active, pedestrian-friendly streets and provide needed neighborhood services.
Continue to finance the rehabilitation of existing housing The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will monitor housing units that are already rent-restricted through regulatory agreements with government agencies. HPD will reach out to owners with any such regulatory agreements that are near the end of their affordability period to let them know about the financial incentives HPD can provide to preserve affordability. HPD is also working to identify opportunities to protect the affordability of buildings that are not currently regulated. With the help of its new Community Partnerships unit, HPD is also taking a much more proactive and strategic approach than ever before to target building owners who could benefit from HPD’s financing and tax incentives in exchange for agreeing to maintain the affordability of their units.
Boost participation in the Green Housing Preservation Program The City is launching a Community Retrofit NYC campaign to boost participation in HPD’s new Green Housing Preservation Program, which targets small buildings of five to 50 units with low interest loans that will make buildings more energy efficient in exchange for maintaining the affordability of their units.
Goal: Protect Tenants
Continue to provide free legal representation to tenants The City is deploying immediate, proactive tools to protect residents from landlords that engage in harassment or do not maintain the safety of their buildings. To meet this goal, the City has committed $36 million for free legal representation in housing court to any tenant in a rezoned neighborhood facing harassment.
Engage tenants to report housing quality issues The City’s new Tenant Support Unit (TSU) has been going door-to-door in East New York informing tenants of their rights, documenting building violations, soliciting complaints, and making referrals to free legal support whenever necessary.
Continue to identify and remediate housing quality issues HPD’s Office of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services continues to respond to resident complaints and referrals to identify and remediate problems with the quality of safety of buildings.
Goal: Support Homeowners
Launch an East New York Homeowner Helpdesk HPD will establish a dedicated Homeowner Helpdesk in the community with financial and legal counselors to help homeowners modify mortgages, prevent foreclosures, access home repair, and weatherization loans, and address scams such as deed thefts and other issues.
Market grant funding to low-income homeowners HPD will also continue to market its loan programs to help low-income homeowners make critical repairs to their buildings so they can resist pressures to raise rents or sell.
Expand opportunities for down-payment assistance for first time homebuyers HPD is working to reach a broader set of households with its HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides qualified low-income, first-time homebuyers with up to $15,000 toward the down payment or closing costs on a one- to four-family home.
Goal: Develop New Affordable Housing
Break ground on 1,200 units of affordable housing within two years HPD will expedite the construction of over 1,200 units of deeply affordable housing over the next two years on both private and public sites. This includes a project on the site of the former Chloe Foods facility, which is now owned by the non-profit affordable housing developer, Phipps Houses, who has committed to developing over 900 affordable units as well as retail and community facilities on this site.
Build new affordable housing on public sites There is one significant city-owned site within the rezoning area – a parcel at Chestnut Street and Dinsmore Place, near the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Conduit Boulevard, which will be developed with affordable housing and other uses. HPD will host a community-visioning process for the Dinsmore-Chestnut site in June 2016 to explore the different types of housing, community facilities, and retail uses that residents hope to see built there. HPD also controls a number of smaller sites in the area that will be developed with affordable rental and homeownership units.
Use City subsidy to encourage developers to build housing that is 100% affordable When developers come to HPD for financing, HPD will only finance buildings that are 100% affordable, and at levels that target low and extremely low incomes. Within these 100% affordable buildings, HPD is committing that at least 40% of all units will be reserved for households earning less than 50% of AMI (currently, as little as $23,350 to $38,850 for a three-person family). The remainder of the units in each building would primarily be affordable to households making 60% of AMI (currently less than $46,620 for a three-person family).
Apply the new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program in East New York East New York is the first neighborhood where the City’s new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program has been applied. This program requires that a minimum amount of new housing created be permanently affordable – a protection against potential increases in housing costs and a vehicle to ensuring neighborhood economic diversity. However, as described above, targeted subsidies from HPD will allow this plan will go far beyond the requirements of MIH both in the amount of affordable housing created, and the affordability levels of these units.
EDC will invest in the City-owned industrial building in the Industrial Business Zone to improve conditions for existing businesses and attract new businesses with new jobs to the IBZ.
Establish a Workforce1 Career Center SBS will establish a Workforce1 Career Center in East New York where employers can access free recruitment services and jobseekers can receive skills training, career advisement and job placement. SBS is working with more than 14 local community-based organizations to design a custom suite of services for this new Workforce1 Center to ensure that the services provided will best address the needs of the East New York and Brownsville communities. The location of the Workforce1 Center is to be determined but will be located in the community.
Goal: Strengthen commercial corridors in East New York
Conduct a Commercial Districts Needs Assessment and support commercial revitalization projects To strengthen and revitalize the commercial corridors that anchor the community, SBS has launched Neighborhood 360° East New York, a new program to identify, develop, and launch customized, place-based commercial revitalization programs and services in partnership with local community-based organizations. SBS is currently working with local organizations to conduct a Commercial District Needs Assessment (CDNA) of the Fulton, Atlantic, Liberty, and Pitkin Avenue commercial corridors. CDNA includes analysis of community capacity, physical environment, business environment, and market and demographic data to help SBS and our partners better understand the needs of local commercial corridors and develop ground-up recommendations to foster a healthy local retail mix. Following results from the CDNA, SBS will develop a work plan with local stakeholders and award competitive funding to nonprofits to deliver commercial revitalization services to East New York.
Goal: Support local businesses
Launch an East New York-based business training course To respond to changing neighborhood and real estate challenges faced by small businesses, SBS is expanding and launching new strategies to support existing East New York businesses. SBS has launched its first FastTrac GrowthVenture business course in East New York, which was customized for the neighborhood to help local businesses access capital, identify growth opportunities, build sales strategies, improve financial performance and adapt to changing markets. SBS will also provide free commercial lease workshops and clinics to local business owners.
Goal: Improve neighborhood resources and services
Create a community center at 127 Pennsylvania Avenue by converting the building into a multi-purpose NYPD community center with a variety of recreational, academic and supportive programs for young people.
Support cultural activities in the community by launching a cultural capacity-building program for local arts and cultural groups to expand opportunities for community members to meaningfully engage in local cultural activity.
Facilitate access to broadband internet by investing in conduit infrastructure along Atlantic Avenue. LinkNYC will also be deployed along two key corridors in East New York, providing free public Wi-Fi.
Goal: Build a new school to meet existing and future needs of the community
The City will build a new 1,000 seat school in District 19, to alleviate school overcrowding and provide for a growing population. The school will include an at-grade playground that will be open to the public during non-school hours.
Goal: Improve neighborhood connectivity
Transform Atlantic Avenue into a vibrant and safe corridor connecting residents on both sides of the street through a major street improvement project that will include a new raised, planted median, curb extensions at fifteen intersections, a complete road resurfacing, safer crosswalks, more than 100 new street trees, wayfinding signage and new sidewalks with public benches and bike racks. This project will advance Vision Zero for pedestrian safety while supporting more active uses along the Atlantic Avenue corridor.
Improve the streetscape around Broadway Junction station to make the area safer and improve the commuter experience at this major transit hub by widening sidewalks, adding new vendor kiosks, new seating, landscaping and dedicated bus lanes.
Goal: Invest in improvements to existing neighborhood parks and new open spaces
Renovate Callahan-Kelly Playground, located adjacent to the transit hub at Broadway Junction, to offer more diverse recreational options for residents of the surrounding neighborhoods of Ocean Hill, Brownsville, East New York and Bushwick. Once scoped, the project is expected to include: the addition of a new comfort station, reconstruction of existing basketball courts, new adult fitness equipment, playground renovation, new seating and landscaping, and a potential new skate park.
Create new green space at City Line Park by redeveloping the underutilized asphalt area to expand active living and recreational opportunities.
Make upgrades to Highland Park to strengthen regional open space resource
Open new Schoolyards to Playground sites at PS 677-East Elementary School of Excellence and PS 345-Patrolman Robert Bolden, which will allow community use after school hours and on weekends.