Tensions in East Harlem are at an all time high. Gale Brewer, the Manhattan Borough President, finally took a stance on the rezoning of the neighborhood and decided to reject the plan. The decision was based on the statistics that the 96 blocks that would be rebuilt for affordable housing would not be able to house lower-income families already in the community but instead would encourage those with middle-class status to partake in the lottery happening for these developments. Brewer is not up for reelection for Borough President, so her position is not at stake.
Lower income residents feel as if they are being pushed out of the city and the idea of gentrification is growing. The developments outside of East Harlem that are being built for affordable housing, however match up to the original apartment rent of the area’s income. New York City politicians are aware of this rezoning plan. As they try to fix the infrastructure and affordable housing plan in the city, they know that there is no other growth anywhere else but a few remaining communities. The Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, cannot take a stance on this issue because it is her own district. As expected though, Mayor de Blasio is getting most of the blame because it is part of his agenda. There are many plans for more hearings and protests on the issue as the weeks go by.
Those who are against it feel as if council members are showing their true colors by knocking down lower income areas for those who can afford it. This currently does not affect the developers and construction of the housing, and the possibility of deregulation in certain projects in the near future would be minor.