Your neighborhood is one of the most vibrant and colorful in the city, and mom & pop shops give the community a familiar feel. The diversity of religions, ethnicities and cultures along the East River have always been one of the neighborhood’s strongest suits, but it’s getting more difficult just to maintain everyday life. Maintaining public services and making sure basic needs are met are just some of the top concerns facing the community that has “the best NYC has to offer.”
Issue #1: Affordable Housing
Eastern Manhattan took a whopping 26% loss in affordable housing in recent years, spelling bad news for working- and middle-class residents and the neighborhood’s elderly. There is a fight against rent destabilization that feels like a losing battle as real estate developers stake their claims. The effect is felt not just on renters but small business owners just trying to keep their heads above water. Livable neighborhoods should be a right.
Issue #2: Transportation
The average New Yorker without the ability to easily commute from place to place is a sitting duck. Residents rely on public transportation to get to work, school, and other everyday obligations, and poor service puts a dent in the quality of life and livelihoods at risk. While increased ferries have eased some congestion, a demand for more bus services is vital to keeping the community running.
Issue #3: Zoning/Building Preservation
“Buildings tell the story of the neighborhood,” and this encapsulates why many residents are fighting against zoning. More residential buildings and high rises mean more families, which mean more students, which means overcrowded schools. Zoning loopholes that have been beneficial for real estate developers aren’t necessarily a boon for citizens, as these buildings change the landscape of the horizon and character of the community.