More Affordable Housing Needed

The League of Women Voters has promoted the preservation and increase of affordable housing for decades. To achieve that result the League of Women Voters of the city of New York supports Guaranteed inclusionary zoning. When developers are granted additional floor area (FAR), at least 20% of the units should be permanently income targeted using a percentage of the median income in the neighborhood, (not the federally defined area median income (AMI) which is generally much higher). Tax abatements and low interest loans can be made available to subsidize the cost of building income targeted units.

These arrangements should be mandatory, enforced, written into the contract and survive sale of the FAR to other developers. These developments should be limited to locations where there is adequate infrastructure, subway and bus service, schools and parks to support increased density. All neighborhoods should be considered and the surrounding communities and Community Boards should be consulted as to locations within their neighborhoods. Community Boards should be given more than advisory authority concerning development and encouraged to develop comprehensive plans.

Carole Mehlman, chair of the League’s Affordable Housing Committee, says “Comprehensive Planning is preferable to the present piecemeal, one at a time zoning variance approach. Plans are needed to fit development of manufacturing, residential, commercial, schools, parks, utilities, and transit to the needs of the city;, etc. To begin that process an inventory of vacant land and buildings must be conducted.”

The League of Women Voters of the City of New York: is a nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to promote informed and active participation in government. It neither supports nor opposes candidates or political parties.

Carole Mehlman

[email protected]

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