One man yelled they were breaking his arm, while another woman shouted, “We put the mayor in, and he’s destroyed the city!”
After the balcony was cleared, without any arrests, the meeting continued.
One council member after another described Mandatory Inclusionary Housing as historic and legacy-building.
In reality, it is unlikely to have the sweeping impact their rhetoric would suggest.
The Department of City Planning has projected it would be responsible for the creation of 12,000 low- to moderate-income apartments —15 percent of the 80,000 the mayor hopes to create by 2024.
The mayor and his housing officials made clear, particularly when they were pushing back against widespread criticism of the plan last fall, that it is not the primary trigger for low-income housing. Rather, it is the $8.2 billion in subsidies the city has budgeted to spend on rent-regulated apartments over a decade that will be mainly responsible for bringing the mayor’s housing plan to fruition.
The policy will also be hurt by the expiration of the 421-a development tax break, which many builders say is necessary for them to build any affordable housing. Without it, they argue, they will simply forgo the rezonings because it is not financially feasible to create below-market-rate housing without a tax break.
“Without 421-a, mandatory inclusionary is almost meaningless. Without it, the subsidies necessary to get any of the rezoned projects built would basically make them public housing,” one developer who would only speak on background said earlier in the week.
Council members Inez Barron, Jumaane Williams, Joe Borelli, Steve Matteo and Barry Grodenchik all voted against the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing proposal. Council members Barron, Borelli, Andy Cohen, Grodenchik, Matteo and Paul Vallone voted against the Zoning for Quality and Affordability proposal.