Lead story this am (behind @politicony's pay wall) from @JanakiChadha. Excerpts:

A recently-announced de Blasio administration proposal to rezone SoHo and NoHo for new housing was
billed as a step to advance residential integration in the largely white, high-income area.
But a city policy that gives preference to local residents for new affordable housing units will likely limit the
fair housing potential of the rezoning.
...as the city now looks towards SoHo and NoHo, and
moves toward rezoning the majority-white Gowanus section of Brooklyn, the local set-aside brings up
thornier questions about retaining a neighborhood’s existing make-up.
In Manhattan’s Community District 2, which includes mainly SoHo and NoHo, Greenwich Village, and the
West Village, about 72 percent of residents are white and the area has among the lowest rates of rent burden
and poverty among the city’s community districts...
Just 2 percent of residents are Black and around 6 percent are Hispanic.
Deputy Mayor for Housing Vicki Been said last week the proposed rezoning would be a “critical step to
promote fair housing and ensure that these two neighborhoods and New York City as a whole recover fairly and robustly.”
Craig Gurian, executive director of the Anti-Discrimination Center, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of three Black women from Brooklyn and Queens, said the city’s approach to affordable housing lotteries means the rezoning would still perpetuate racial segregation.
“Building affordable housing in SoHo is a first step to undoing the practice of keeping many white
neighborhoods off limits, but the problem is that the city is still hawking its separate but equal approach to
affordable housing lotteries,” Gurian said.
“The city’s commitment to a discriminatory lottery system
remains and impedes the level of racial integration that would occur due to this rezoning if you didn’t have
the preference policy, or the outsider restriction policy, as we call it.”
The pro-development group Open New York, which advocated for a housing-focused rezoning in SoHo and
NoHo, has also argued the local preference policy should not be applied to this plan.
“This CD — encompassing Greenwich Village, the West Village, SoHo, and little else — is
fully gentrified,” the group wrote. “Anybody from this district who could qualify for housing would likely be
a young person from a privileged background with high future earning potential.”
Been, in her previous role as Mayor Bill de Blasio's housing commissioner, acknowledged in a 2014 letter to
federal officials that the policy might benefit from tweaks to prevent it from running afoul of fair housing
laws, POLITICO reported last year.
[Been] defended the local preference practice but wrote that “it would make sense” to lower the percentage of community preference given to buildings in the city’s most racially homogeneous neighborhoods.

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