“I tried to get into buildings like this for three years now, I couldn’t retain it,” said Charisma White, who was homeless for the last three years before securing housing in Sunset Park. “The neighborhood that we groomed and grew up in is unreachable for us.”
The protest comes roughly two years out from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s projected goal of creating 200,000 affordable housing units by 2022 as part of his Housing New York 2.0 plan. The plan currently creates twice as many units for households who can afford rents above $2,500 than it does for the homeless, according to representatives from VOCAL-NY, who hosted the protest.
Local advocates, including formerly homeless Brooklynites, gathered outside a soon-to-be-completed luxury building on Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant Wednesday morning to demand that the mayor offer truly affordable housing and double the number of units for homeless New Yorkers.
Situated between blocks of brownstone row houses and a community garden, the development at 348 Nostrand Ave. will include nine units of affordable housing. Advocates say nine is not enough — but on top of that, they charge that the units aren’t affordable at all. The apartments were given to residents making more than $68,572 per year.