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July 07, 2005

NIMBYism Against Housing in Brooklyn

What do we want?!!!

Less housing for poor and working families!!

So seems to be the chant among some residents of the Peoples Republic of Brooklyn.

A new development by developer Bruce Ratner promises soaring skyscrapers and massive new blocks of housing, along with a new stadium for the Nets basketball team.

So to play to those local critics, a new bid to develop the area has emerged.

The difference? This development will only create about 1950 housing units, versus 6000 units from the original plan.

And this new plan would provide only 573 units for lower-income residents, versus 2250 units reserved for low- and middle-income residents in the original plan.

That there is even a debate over these two proposals just shows the bankruptcy of progressive politics in New York City. Yuppie "quality of life" arguments should not trump the desperate need of families for a place to live. Yes, large development will change the character of downtown Brooklyn, but that character is being changed by the fact that all but the wealthy are being driven out of many parts of it, as rents soar out of control.

Brooklyn faces a choice. It can hold onto a physical "look" of the past to benefit the remaining wealthy who can afford to live in a yuppie theme park of low-lying buildings, or it can embrace massive new housing to hold onto the actual residents who might be able to afford to live in the community.

More housing is desperately needed and this is one of the few undeveloped areas where massive housing can be built. To miss that opportunity would be a betrayal of the working people of New York who need that housing.

Posted by Nathan at July 7, 2005 07:24 AM