A stretch of Pitkin Avenue in East New York, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, could soon be transformed. The area is the first that the de Blasio administration is targeting for rezoning to pave the way for more affordable housing.
"A lot of us out here, we can't afford this high rent," said one resident of the area.
However, while many locals are desperate for better and cheaper housing, there is widespread concern that the development the city wants will not actually be affordable by neighborhood standards and will lead to gentrification.
With that in mind, the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation is building 60 of what it calls deeply affordable units on a vacant lot. Rents will range from $600 to $1,000 a month, depending on income and apartment size.
"We're really targeting the people that live in the neighborhood now and the rents that they can afford," said Michelle Neugebauer of the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation.
However, additional affordable housing may come attached to market-rate developments, which worries Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
"We have seen many neighborhoods in Brooklyn lose the tremendous diversity that make those neighborhoods strong. We don't want to see the same thing happen out in East New York," Jeffries said.