Since the Lower East Side/East Village Rezoning plan was passed and failed to protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side in 2008, many high-rise condos and hotels have been built in our area. Many families and small businesses have been displaced because rents are soaring. SPURA (the Delancey lots) is the last big piece of empty publicly-owned land in Manhattan. Now the City is working with developers to plan to build luxury apartments, a hotel, a big-box store, and so called "affordable housing" with rents up to $3000/month on this land. If the City succeeds, this development will speed up displacement and our community will be wiped out.
Sign the petition and join the People First Campaign to stop luxury developers from taking over. Join in to protect our Community.
1. The City develop SPURA to meet our community's urgent needs
a. 100% low-income housing.
b. Community space for a public school, day care center, youth center, health clinic and low-cost spaces for small businesses.
c. Jobs at SPURA- prioritize those who live or work in our community.
2. The City adopt the People First Rezoning Plan
Protect existing low-income housing and create new low-income housing and affordable spaces for small businesses by limiting luxury high-rises, requiring 100% low-income housing for all new developments on public land, and requiring special permits for large chain stores.
To the City of New York:
As the City takes steps to plan the future of Chinatown and the Lower East Side, we urge the City to heed the concerns of the community and address its critical need for truly affordable space for both residents and small businesses. Still reeling from the economic crisis, our diverse population of low-income families has been hard hit by skyrocketing rents, evictions, transfers and mass displacement of our housing, jobs, schools and community services. We call on the City to preserve, improve and build low-income housing, as well as spaces for small businesses and community programs and services.
Thousands of families in Chinatown and the Lower East Side are desperately in need of housing—crammed into small apartments to make ends meet or waiting on the City’s list of 250,000 families citywide seeking public housing and Section 8 apartments. The City says that it plans to build more affordable housing in light of this tremendous need. However, it is displacing countless low-income families from the community, keeping encouraging private developers to build high-rise luxury developments, and laying the groundwork for the construction of more housing for the wealthy on our community’s public land.
The City’s support of private developers has resulted in the closure, displacement or replacement of day care centers, schools, nursing homes, and small businesses because they could not keep up with rising rents and costs. Now the City is trying to use the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, SPURA, to build many apartments for the wealthy--50% market rate--while saying that 50% are “affordable,” using the city-wide Area Median Income ($76,800). This is still not affordable for our community who have an AMI of only $35,600.
Our community of working families have a common interest in homes that are safe, healthy, and affordable to low-income people; and small businesses and community services and programs that serve our needs.
We demand that the City stop the displacement in Chinatown and the Lower East Side, and preserve, improve and build affordable housing and spaces for small businesses and community programs. Specifically, we call on the City to:
1) Develop SPURA to meet our community’s urgent needs:
a. 100% low-income housing
b. Community space for a public school, day care center, youth center, health clinic and low-cost spaces for small businesses
c. Jobs at SPURA- prioritize those who live or work in our community
2) Adopt the People First Rezoning Plan:
a. Protect existing low-income housing and create new low-income housing and affordable small businesses by limiting luxury high-rises
b. Require 100% low-income housing for all new developments on public land
c. Require special permits for large chain stores.
We demand that the New York City Government take these necessary steps in order to respond to the genuine needs of the vibrant LES & Chinatown community of working families.