A new report details the racial impact of recent neighborhood rezonings and the need to conduct impact studies prior to future rezonings in order to avoid displacement.
The report, issued by New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, outlines the shortcomings of current processes for city rezonings and highlights several instances in which rezonings exacerbated displacement and gentrification.
“Again and again, across the city, we have seen changes made to communities, rather than with them, through aggressive development. Gentrification and displacement have continued to force people and communities from their homes,” Williams said in a statement. “Sadly, both developers and the city have been reluctant to recognize the role of rezonings in this racial and ethnic displacement, much less take adequate action to prevent it. Today’s report makes clear the need for and benefits of a racial impact study. We can grow and create new, affordable, income-targeted housing while preventing people and communities from being priced out of their neighborhoods.”
Williams released the report on June 16, the day the City Council Committee on Land Use voted on Intro 1572, legislation Williams introduced in 2019 that would require the city to conduct a racial impact study whenever it attempts to advance a rezoning project.
Later that day, Williams and fair housing advocates rallied outside of City Hall, calling for the immediate passage of the bill.