2006-06-30 / Editorial/Opinion


Are More 'Low Income' Homes On The Horizon?

An event that occurred in Brooklyn earlier this week to little fanfare might well have a major impact on the future of Rockaway. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and some of his minions broke ground on the first housing development in the city to be built under a recently expanded "Inclusionary Zoning Program," that allows developers to build at a greater-than-usual density in return for the promise of making at least 20 percent of the new housing units available for "low income" people. Where have we heard that song before? Now, comes word that Bloomberg has promised the maximum number of affordable housing units possible at the same time the city is getting ready to finalize the plans for Arverne East, which is to include housing as one of its components. Will the new Inclusionary zoning mean that the housing in that area will be both denser and cheaper? We hope not. The original promise from the city to the community was that the entire Arverne Urban Renewal Area would be "market rate." When City Councilman James Sanders complained that there was little housing for "his people," an affordable component was added to the condo buildings just completed. We have no problem with a small amount of affordable housing added to a peninsula where such housing is rampant. We will have a problem with any plan that will drastically change the density of Arverne East to add mid-rise and high-rise housing to the plan and that will bring in a large number of affordable housing units to a peninsula already negatively impacted with those units. We understand that Rockaway has no say about its own destiny, but perhaps our elected city officials might say something to the mayor about this important issue.

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