Brooklyn – Councilman David G. Greenfield has announced his support for the bold plan put forth by prominent local attorney Nachman Caller which would build as many as 2,000 housing units over the MTA tracks adjacent to 61st Street in Borough Park.
“In the four years that I have been a member of the City Council, I have looked everywhere for opportunities to build housing in Borough Park,” said Councilman Greenfield. “The problem is simple: we don’t have empty land to build on. This Borough Park rail yard housing plan is the best and most thoughtful I have seen since I have been in office.”
Over the last few weeks, Greenfield has thoroughly vetted the Borough Park rail yard housing plan, discussing it with MTA leadership and housing experts, and has concluded that it can work with the right support. “I met with top MTA officials this week to review this plan and pledge my support to it,” said Councilman Greenfield. “The MTA has assured me that the plan can work, and with the support of our elected officials, the MTA will move forward to allow bidding on the rights to develop on top of the rail yards.”
As Chair of the City Council’s Land Use Committee, Greenfield has considerable sway over zoning matters in New York City. Councilman Greenfield explained, “as soon as the MTA finds a partner to develop these rail yards, I will work to change the zoning to allow building as many as 2,000 housing units. With those assurances, the MTA can move forward knowing that they will have the support they need in the Land Use Committee to make this plan a reality.”
“Borough Park is suffering from a housing crisis. We need to try every possible avenue to build more housing,” explained Councilman David Greenfield. “The reality is that Borough Park is full. The solution is to expand Borough Park’s natural borders, and that is exactly what this plan will do.”
Affordable housing is vital for Borough Park, where 48% of children under 5 live in poverty, and 43% of children under 18 live below the poverty line. Borough Park also suffers from a severe overcrowding problem. The 2010 Census found that 31% of neighborhood households are occupied by 5 or more people; 13% have 7 or more. Borough Parkers desperately need more space and affordability to raise their families.
The UJA-Federation reports over 68% of households have incomes below $50,000 and the median household income in Borough Park is $36,696. Amazingly, Borough Park was found to be the second-most rent-burdened neighborhood in New York City by the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.
Councilman Greenfield will discuss the details of the Borough Park rail yard housing plan on his radio show this Thursday night at 7pm on 620AM on the radio, and will take phone calls from listeners with thoughts and questions about the plan.