Flushing Rezoning Community Alliance Release Research Report on Flushing West Rezoning
Flushing, NY – On April 28, Flushing Rezoning Community Alliance (FRCA) hosted a press conference where the group announced the release of its research report, colloquially known as the “white paper” on Flushing West Rezoning. The event was held in front of the St. George’s Church where FRCA members addressed their findings on the rezoning issue as well as their recommendations for a just rezoning of the neighborhood.
The report included results from surveys that the MinKwon Center for Community Action collected along with other member organizations. According to the 334 surveys collected from Flushing residents and stakeholders, the top three concerns heard from survey participants were concerns on overcrowding (73% of respondents), inadequate sanitation (73% of respondents) and hiking rent prices in the neighborhood (74% of respondents).
Included in the report are startling figures that statistically represent problems that Flushing residents are currently facing in terms of affordability. According to the report, approximately 63% of renters in Flushing are rent-burdened as their gross rent exceed 30% of their annual income. The number of rent-burdened residents is likely to increase in the future as the number of senior households is also on the rise.
In light of concerns found in the survey, the report also includes policy recommendations which address potential solutions to aforementioned concerns and more. Recommendations include but are not limited to the building and preservation of affordable housing units, implementation of anti-displacement measures, use of public lots for affordable housing development, and the use of public resources to fill SCRIE/DRIE enrollment gaps.
Carol McLoughlin, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens said, “Besides affordable housing, FRCA’s other recommendations about the Flushing West Rezoning Proposal include increasing the number of senior centers, plus train services and subway entrances, improving the condition of Flushing Creek and sanitation services, plus developing a bus depot to reduce pedestrian and vehicular traffic in downtown Flushing”.
Grace Shim, Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action said, “Policy recommendations outlined in the report reflect the reality that our community members face every day while the rezoning process is happening in Flushing. I want to strongly urge the Department of City Planning to adopt recommendations from the report in order to ensure improved living quality for Flushing residents after the rezoning process”.
Pedro Rodriguez, a Flushing resident and parishioner at St. George's Episcopal Church said, "It is critical that in addition to building deeply affordable housing, that we ensure that current Flushing residents can stay in their homes. My aunt and many other tenants struggle every day with buildings in disrepair and landlords who harass them to move. We need legislation like the Certificate of No Harassment and legal services in Flushing residents' native languages to change the incentive to harass and gives tenants back the power they need."
Maya Bhardwaj, Community Organizer with Faith in New York said, "72% of Flushing residents surveyed make under $50,000/year. If we're building in Flushing, we need to be building units that are affordable for our community. Developers must build at 40% of AMI, and we need programs that provide safe jobs and training for local residents to work the construction jobs needed."
Aside from FRCA member organizations, other technical assistance providers such as the Center for Urban Pedagogy, the Hester Street Collaborative, the Pratt Center for Community Development, the Urban Justice Center, and the Association for Neighborhood Planning and Development also helped to develop the report throughout the drafting process.
The Flushing Community Rezoning Alliance is an alliance of local community, faith, social services, and ally organizations that advocate for the rights of Flushing residents including quality of life issues, community planning, and development that promote justice and equality.
Jung Rae Jang
718-460-5600 Ext. 504