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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in housing
Posted by on in Imani

On September 18th, the City Register published the name of the gentleman who purchased 89 Schenectady Avenue, the middle of three lots that comprise Imani I Garden.  His name is Herman Stark and his address is listed as 199 Lee Avenue Suite 308 Brooklyn NY 11211.  He paid $365,000 for this single 20x100 lot.

As far we can tell, the only reason someone would spend $365,000 for a 2,000 square foot lot would be to build a residential building.  Of course building such a structure would entail cutting down one of the tallest and most beautiful weeping willow trees in Brooklyn.  Is this really what the community wants to happen?  Is it really that important that we have more unaffordable housing in a borough already rated as one of the least affordable in the United States?  

Or would we rather have a community garden with a towering willow tree, surrounded by chickens, an aquaponics project, fruit trees and a cob oven?

Let your electeds know your preference.  Scott Stringer, the Comptroller, can be reached at 212-669-2156.  Robert Cornegy the local council member, can be reached at 212-788-7354.  Let them know you'd prefer a willow tree over a housing project!

On September 28th, garden members put up the sign you see in the photo.  We are asking for anyone who knows and cares for Imani Garden to send us an email telling of their experiences there and what they like most about the garden.  We're asking that you send your comments to " This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ".  With your permission, we will publish your responses on this website.

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The weeping willow at Imani I, 87-91 Schenectady Avenue

 

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Yesterday California Governor Jerry Brown announced an executive order mandating cities and towns in the drought-ravaged state to reduce water usage by 25%.  Unaffected by this order were the state's farms, which consume 80% of the state's water.  Why did farms get a pass on these reductions?  How much longer can they get away with it?  

Check out this article in the Daily Beast about the politics of water in California. 

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the state in 2013 exported the following amounts of food key to our nation's food supply:

 

  • Milk — $7.6 billion
  • Almonds — $5.8 billion
  • Grapes — $5.6 billion
  • Cattle, Calves — $3.05 billion
  • Strawberries — $2.2 billion
  • Walnuts — $1.8 billion
  • Lettuce — $1.7 billion
  • Hay — $1.6 billion
  • Tomatoes — $1.2 billion
  • Nursery plants— $1.2 billion


How will the rest of nation's food supply be effected by California's worsening drought?  What happens when the state's farms are forced to reduce water consumption?

Wouldn't it make sense for NYC residents to think about these questions now, before there's a crisis.  Community gardens certainly provide at least part of the answer.  In January, Mayor DiBlasio's Housing Dept. announced that 17 gardens were to be developed as affordable housing.  Let Mayor DiBlasio know that you want the 17 gardens saved from development so they can continue to provide residents with a secure and healthy source for fresh produce.  You can reach his Brooklyn liaison Kicy Motley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Send her a note today to express your concern.  

 

 

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Posted by on in Imani

On a cold February 10th morning about 100 intrepid gardeners gathered on the steps of City Hall to express their outrage.  It seems that Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the housing arm of New York City, had decided on its own authority to confiscate 17 community gardeners for "affordable housing".  Without any advance warning to the Parks Department that administers community gardens on City land, the affected City Council members or the community boards, on January 14th HPD issued a Request for Proposals asking developers to express interest in developing housing on 181 City-owned lots.  Buried among these 181 lots, among over 1,000 owned by the City, were 17 community gardens.

The response was swift and furious.  Within 24 hours, Antonio Reynoso, a Council Member from Williamsburgh, issued a letter to the mayor asking that all 17 of the gardens be removed from the list.  By the date of the rally, CMs Robert Cornegie, Rosie Mendez and Stephen Levin had also voiced their concern about the manner in which HPD conducted itself.

The question we have to ask ourselves: what role do gardens play in our communities?  Are communities more than just affordable housing?  In fact, the housing being offered by HPD is not even affordable.  Using something called the Area Median Income (AMI), under the RFP terms, only 1/3 of the units need to be affordable, meaning 2/3 of the units won't be affordable.  And HPD's definition of affordable is 80% of the AMI for a family of four.  Given that the AMI (based on regional statistics that include suburban counties) is $88,600, than means that one out of three units must be affordable to a family earning $70,880.  Hello, HPD.  That does not reflect the actual incomes of families in these communities.  These units will be affordable in name only.

Don't let this mindless land grab go unnoticed.  Sign our petition at Stop the land grab.

For more information on this situation, check out New York City Community Garden Coalition website.

Stay tuned for more developments!

 

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