Council Weighs Mandating Developers to Create Housing for the Homeless

A month ago, Nathylin Flowers Adesegun questioned Mayor de Blasio inside a Prospect Park gym about doing more for homeless New Yorkers. Last week she stood outside the Gracie Mansion asking the same. And on Wednesday morning, Flowers made was on the steps at City Hall steps with elected officials to support Councilmember Rafael Salamanca’s bill that will require developers dedicate some of the housing they build or fix for people without homes.

Salamanca’s legislation will require developers who receive city financial assistance for housing development projects to set aside no less than 15 percent of created or preserved dwelling units for homeless individuals and families. For the Councilmember, the bill comes at a crucial time, because a large chunk of his district — specifically the Crotona Park East and Longwood neighborhoods along Southern Boulevard in the South Bronx — is being studied by the Department of City Planning for a possible rezoning.

“Our city is at a critical juncture. Since 2014, the number of homeless people in NYC shelters has stagnated around the 60,000 figure,” said Salamanca outside City Hall. “It is clear that we need legislation that could actually be effective citywide and I believe that mandating a 15 percent set aside has the potential to drastically alter the grim reality for so many.”