Western Queens (Astoria and Long Island City) is currently under consideration for a number of major planning proposals. The Department of City Planning is considering a rezoning of 37 blocks in the Long Island City “core” to encourage extensive development of office space and housing (including the application of Mandatory Inclusionary Housing), and the area is the subject of at least two other major planning proposals: the Brooklyn Queens Connector Streetcar (BQX) and the potential development of Sunnyside Yard.
Even by New York City standards, this area has been undergoing massive change prior to these new proposals. What was once largely a low-rise, mixed-use (industrial and residential) area is now home to dozens of high rise residential and office buildings. Much of this development has been the result of previous manufacturing-to-residential/commercial rezonings in 1986, 2001, 2004, and 2008. The vast majority of the new housing built has been market-rate and thus unaffordable to many.
In response, the Faith in New York network has organized the Justice for All Coalition, a local group of stakeholders from across the neighborhood that includes residents of the Queensbridge and Ravenswood Houses. In an effort to engage the broader community in these important rezoning and development issues, the Coalition has been holding training sessions, community forums, and rallies. They are also advocating that: (1) the City plan holistically for the various development proposals that are in the works, and (2) the rezoning be done in an equitable way that delivers key community benefits including but not limited to deeply affordable housing, jobs for local residents, and improvements to public housing.The Justice for All Coalition is continuing to broaden its base of allies and put forth and achieve meaningful planning and policy proposals to meet its principles for an equitable rezoning.
Pratt Center is serving as the lead technical assistance organization and is providing project management support, in-depth analysis of recent trends and proposed plans, strategy assistance, and the development of alternative planning and policy proposals.