The proposed Broadway Triangle affordable housing project straddling Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant dominated this week’s Community Board 3 meeting held at Restoration Plaza.
In particular, City Councilwoman Diana Reyna said the housing plan as proposed further perpetuates discrimination in the black and Latino community
“I ask and I urge all of you, with all of us as leaders of our community, to remain aware and involved,” said Reyna at the meeting.
Reyna’s appearance came after she and other opponents of the city-backed project went to court to block the development, alleging it illegally favored Hasidic families over blacks and Latinos.
Supreme Court Judge Emily Goodman agreed and recently issued an injunction halting the project, saying the development “will not only not foster integration of the neighborhood, but it will perpetuate segregation in the Broadway Triangle.”
The city tapped the Ridgewood-Bushwick Senior Citizens Council and the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg – two nonprofits with close ties to Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez, who made Broadway Triangle a pet project – to build about 1800 apartments on the mostly-barren 31-acre stretch near the Bed-Stuy border.
Opponents objected that the plans for large apartments in low-rise buildings and a special preference for residents of Williamsburg and Greenpoint that didn’t include nearby Bedford-Stuyvesant, illegally favored Hasidic residents who often have large families and can’t use elevators on the Sabbath.
CB3 Chair Henry Butler said while his community board didn’t feel right about staking out an official position as the project is not directly in its jurisdiction, he personally supports the lawsuit.
“I felt the plan as developed did not take into account the whole community of Williamsburg,” said Butler.
“The housing aspect was discrimination. The project could be built a lot higher than four or five stories , providing more affordable housing for the Puerto Ricans and blacks in the community.”
The city plans to appeal the court decision.
“The court mistakenly discounted evidence submitted by the city,” city attorney Gabriel Taussig told reporters.
“After a two-year long temporary restraining order, we are grateful the judge has finally made a decision which now allows us to refute these outlandish claims before an appellate court.”