Gentrification Resurfaces as More than 182,000 NYC Families Apply for 14 Bushwick Affordable Houses

By Angela Wills

DAInfo indicates that more than 180,000 people have applied to reside in only 14 affordable NYC housing units. Yes! You read correctly, ONLY 14 units.

In what is described as one of the strongest real estate markets in the district, where at least 1,300 apartments were scheduled for construction within a year, there are only 14 units available for lottery, based on information from the Department Housing Preservation and Development.

According to HPD, 181,229 applicants have applied for those 14 units.

Advocate for affordable housing, Scott Short who is with the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizen’s Council told reporters, “Fourteen is too low. Even if it’s double that, even if it’s 30, it’s still too low.”

The few number of affordable units magnifies the shortfalls of the current Voluntary Inclusionary Housing program of the city, which requests that developers construct units that are more affordable for various tax breaks, according to Short.

Short says, “In North Brooklyn developers don’t choose to take advantage of it, either because the incentives are not great enough or because the [zoning doesn’t] allow them to take full advantage of the incentives that are offered,”

A detailed analysis of all filings for new residential units throughout the city was published by the Real Deal in October.

Although development in Brooklyn was stagnant in comparison with numbers from 2014, by the month of October, Bushwick had seemingly surpassed the number of units that were constructed the prior year with 1,329 apartment units in the works, according to reports.

The Real Deal found that here are more units scheduled for construction in Bushwick than there are in any other neighborhood in Brooklyn, and the area represented almost 20 percent of all of the new developments in the district.

The unbelievably small number of affordable apartment units constructed, compared with temperament market-rate development is a strong indicator of the fact that city policies aren’t much help in stirring the momentum, according to Gary Moses. Moses is from the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, an umbrella organization for housing developers with affordable rates.

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