Testimony, Papers, and Reports

Respond to Government-Initiated Projects and Plans

Impact Private Development Projects
Create and Defend Community Spaces
Policymaking Around Structural Inequality and Displacement

Respond to Government-Initiated Projects and Plans

Infill Development on NYC Housing Authority Campuses

Testimony Before the New York City Council Committee on Public Housing Regarding NYCHA Development and Privatization (10/30/2018): We work directly with residents at Wyckoff Gardens, LaGuardia Houses, and Cooper Park Houses – three of the four sites where NYCHA and NYC Housing Preservation and Development have publicized an intention to allow private developers to construct half-market rate and half below-market housing to meet Mayor de Blasio's housing development goals. We testified to the City Council Committee about irregularities in the approval processes for infill development, obfuscation that limits resident participation and the lack of environmental review that is on course to allow construction with impacts on current NYCHA residents to move ahead. You can watch the hearing hereKaren Leader from Cooper Park Resident Council (CDP's clients) is at minute 18; Paula Segal's testimony on behalf of CDP is at 4 hours 50 minutes.

Jerome Avenue Rezoning

Client: Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) & the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision.

Testimony on the Jerome Avenue Rezoning Before the City Council (2/7/2018)

Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (12/11/2017): CDP and a team of technical assistance providers from the Pratt Center and the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development worked with the Bronx Coalition to craft comments in response to the DEIS for the proposed rezoning, urging the City to conduct a more meaningful analysis of displacement, protect the local auto industry, and reduce the scale of the proposed rezoning.

White Paper: Resisting Displacement in the Southwest Bronx: Lessons from CASA's Tenant Organizing (May 2017): CDP provided research, writing and editing support to CASA for this report.

Comments on the Draft Scope of Work (11/7/2016)

Zoning Text Asks (3/18/2016): CDP and other technical assistance providers worked with the Bronx Coalition to craft demands related to the proposed rezoning of Jerome Avenue. The Coalition requested, among other things, provisions that would have helped to secure small local businesses in the community.

Policy Platform (October 2015): CDP supported the Bronx Coalition in creating a robust policy platform to support planning designed to meet the needs of low-income residents of the South Bronx.

East Harlem Rezoning

Client: Community Voices Heard (CVH)

Testimony on East Harlem Neighborhood Rezoning to the Land Use Subcommittee on Zoning & Franchises (10/11/2017): To reinforce remarks by CVH, CDP testified against the proposed rezoning of East Harlem because of the rezoning plan's failure to properly assess the risks of community displacement and provide appropriate mitigations.

Testimony on the East Harlem Rezoning Draft of Environmental Impact Statement to City Planning Commission (8/23/2017): In collaboration with CVH, Pratt Center for Community Development, and The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, CDP testified regarding the City's lack of a plan for protecting East Harlem's current residents from displacement in the wake rezoning and the resulting luxury developments. In response to the environmental impact statement, CDP and the other organizations also submitted written comments (9/5/2017) to describe the adverse impacts of the plan in greater detail, explain how the City’s analysis masks the plan’s true impacts on the neighborhood’s current residents, and offer alternatives that will preserve and increase affordable housing in East Harlem.

East New York Rezoning

Client: Coalition for Community Advancement: Progress for East New York/Cypress Hills

Testimony on the Proposed East New York Rezoning to New York City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises  (3/7/2016): In support of the Coalition, CDP testified to highlight the lack of affordable housing protections in the City’s proposed East New York rezoning plan and urge the City to make a plan that meets the housing needs of the neighborhood’s current residents.

Testimony on the Proposed East New York Rezoning to City Planning Commission  (1/6/2016): In support of the Coalition, CDP argued that the proposed rezoning would increase the risk of displacement from the community and argued for the adoption of a zoning text provision to deter tenant harassment.

Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Rezoning (December 2015): CDP and the Pratt Center worked with the Coalition to draft extensive comments in response to the DEIS for the proposed rezoning. The comments focused especially on the mismatch between the affordability levels of the proposed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing units and the incomes of local community members, and the lack of displacement protections for residents of small homes.

East New York Neighborhood Rezoning Community Plan (July 2015): CDP supported the Coalition in creating a community plan for the neighborhood.

Impact Private Development Projects

Comments To The City Planning Commission On Proposal To Add Four Megatowers To The Site Plan Of The Two Bridges Large Scale Residential Development (LSRD) As Modification Of Prior Approved Site Plans, submitted as counsel to Good Old Lower East Side - GOLES, CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, Tenants United Fighting for the Lower East Side (TUFF-LES) and the Lands End One Tenants Association (LEOTA) with exhibits (10/17/2018).  "We urge you to use the power at your disposal to turn down the out of scale proposals in order to simultaneously protect the existing low income neighborhood and to shield the City from litigation that will surely result if the Commission approves these towers via a process that has never been properly promulgated. I will use my time here today to comment on the obfuscated and illegal process through which these applications reach you today."

Letter to the Department of City Planning Regarding Unlawful Process to Approve Development in the Two Bridges LSRD (8/11/2017): CDP drafted a letter on behalf of GOLES (Good Old Lower East Side), CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, and Tenants United Fighting for the Lower East Side (TUFF-LES), and the Lands End One Tenant Association to call attention to deficiencies in the Department of City Planning's treatment of applications for new construction in the Two Bridges Large-Scale Redevelopment area. CDP argued that the City's decision to classify requested approvals to build 4 new residential towers as "minor" modifications was improper and in violation of the law.

Create and Defend Community Spaces

In Relation to Tax Lien Sale to New York City Council Committee on Finance  (1/11/2017): CDP, in collaboration with the New York City Community Land Initiative, called for changes to a bill reauthorizing the City’s tax lien program so that non-profit organizations and community members occupying properties with tax liens may continue to do so, and unused properties may be used in the ways that most benefit the surrounding communities.

Policymaking Around Structural Inequality and Displacement

Charter Reform

Testimony to the Charter Revision Commission in response to the Staff Report (7/25/2018). The Staff Report recommended that the 2018 Commission leave amending the ULURP process to a later Commission due to the complexity of the undertaking. CDP testified about non-ULURP land use changes that the Commission should put on the November ballot. The hearing transcript is here (CDP begins on page 66).

Testimony on the Land Use Panel Before the New York City Charter Commission (6/19/2018) (link to video; CDP testimony begins at 2:42:53): CDP provided expert testimony about the need for charter reform to improve the City's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). Among other recommendations, CDP urged the Commission to support community-based planning and early disclosure of plans and potential alternatives, and to make all development on NYCHA property subject to the ULURP process. The hearing transcript is here (CDP begins on page 119).

Testimony to the 2018 Charter Revision Commission (5/7/2018): CDP testimony at a public hearing in the initial agenda-setting stage of the 2018 City Charter Revision Commission contributed to the expansion of the Commission's mandate and the scheduling of a Land Use Panel. The hearing transcript is here (CDP begins on page 38).

Community Land Trusts

Testimony On Intro 1269: A Bill in Relation to the Creation of Regulatory Agreements with Community Land Trusts (10/19/2017): CDP spoke in support of this bill as a foundation on which to build a regulatory framework around CLTs. CDP also endorsed suggestions by the New York Community Land Initiative for improving the bill to ensure that CLTs are truly a vehicle for creating and preserving housing for low income families.

Mandatory Inclusionary Housing

Inclusionary Housing Transparency Legislation Testimony  (6/19/2017): CDP requested that the City increase transparency around inclusionary housing programs beyond what was proposed in the legislation. CDP requested that the legislation require data about available affordable housing that is easier for residents, advocates, and volunteers to understand; reports about affordable housing programs and subsidies from government and developers; and disclosure of how affordable housing funds are used.

Letter Regarding the Applicability of Mandatory Inclusionary Housing to the Adorama Site (7/22/2016): CDP wrote to the New York City Planning Commission to argue that the requirements of the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program be applied to a special permit application for a proposed development in Chelsea. CDP argued that failure to apply the requirements of MIH would both thwart the goals of the program, and run contrary to the plain language of the MIH zoning text. CDP urged the Commission to impose the requirements of MIH on this, and all future special permits resulting in a significant increase in residential floor area.

Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Zoning & Franchises on Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (2/9/2016)

Testimony Before the City Planning Commission on Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (12/16/2015)

Housing Not Warehousing

Housing Not Warehousing Act Comments to City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings  (9/15/2016): In collaboration with the New York City Community Land Initiative, CDP testified  supporting the proposed Housing Not Warehousing bills. These bills would ensure deeply and permanently affordable housing on public land by listing all publicly-owned vacant properties that could be used for affordable housing and recommending paths towards developing affordable housing on these properties.