City Council Approves East Harlem Rezoning

The City Council recently approved the rezoning of East Harlem, the third neighborhood to be rezoned under the mandatory inclusionary housing program (MIH). To get the rezoning plan passed, the council modified it to align more closely to the community-based planning vision and evaluated the location of vulnerable rent-stabilized housing to minimize displacement pressure. The council agreed to reduce the density and the height limits on buildings throughout the 96-block stretch of the rezoned area. Along Park Avenue, north of 118th Street, building heights will be limited to 275 feet, except for on 125th Street, and city-owned sites. Height limits have also been reduced along Lexington, Third, and Second Avenues.

The 96-block rezoning is expected to create 1,288 low-income housing units on private sites. Under MIH, the city estimates that at least 20 to 25 percent of all new residential units in East Harlem will be for low-income tenants. The plan includes a $222 million investment into the community, with $50 million set aside for New York City Housing Authority’s East Harlem properties, and $101 million for the creation of a new park between 125th and 132nd Streets.

The rezoning and MIH at large aims to counter the loss of low-income units in the city. It’s estimated that that East Harlem lost 360 units in recent years due to expiring subsidy programs.