Posted on November 29, 2017
Legal Aid Society Sues the City Over Bedford Armory Plan
— BKLYNER (@bklyner) November 29, 2017
Ahead of tomorrow’s City Council vote on the Bedford-Union Armory land use application, the Legal Aid Society (LAS) filed a lawsuit in New York County Supreme Court. It contests the City’s development plans for the Armory and challenges the methodology used to evaluate the potential for residential displacement in land use decisions. LAS and activists who have been fighting for a better deal for the neighborhood including New York Communities for Change, Crown Heights Tenants Union, and Tenants and Neighbors held a press conference this morning on the steps of the City Hall to announce the lawsuit. The plaintiffs argue that the current proposal will only exacerbate the potential for displacement in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, and is based on flawed methodology. The City uses City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) to assesses the potential for residential displacement, however, it only considers the impact on free-market residential units, which are deemed potentially vulnerable. The plaintiffs argue that the issues raised with Bedford-Union Armory plan will be repeated as long as the City continues to use a methodology that is at odds with the reality. “The current proposal sets a dangerous precedent, and it will worsen displacement if left unchecked. Our concerns have been raised continually with the City but to no avail. Gentrification affects all apartments – regulated or unregulated – and the City’s land use decisions need to factor in that obvious reality,” said Judith Goldiner —Attorney-In-Charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society— in a statement. “Tenants & Neighbors joined this lawsuit because we are opposed to market-rate housing on public land. We hope this lawsuit will highlight the displacement pressures that the Mayor’s housing plan has created for communities across New York City,” said Katie Goldstein, Executive Director, Tenants & Neighbors.