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Although affordable housing exists in Coney Island, much of it is at-risk, due to expiring subsidy programs such as Mitchell-Lama and the phenomenon of “predatory equity.” And new development will likely create gentrification pressure that will increase the cost of housing for current residents. 20% “Affordable” Housing through voluntary inclusionary zoning. 50% affordable housing, with “affordability” based on local incomes, so new apartments are affordable to local residents.

The City can accomplish this by increasing affordable housing on City-owned land, on private land through working directly with developers and through  mandatory inclusionary zoning, and by reserving half of the affordable units for local residents.

Coney Island has a 13% unemployment rate–that’s higher than the rest of Brooklyn and New York City. The neighborhood also has one of the highest poverty rates in all of New York City, at 30%. The City estimates that 25,000 construction jobs and 6,000 permanent jobs will be created from the redevelopment. Currently, the City’s plan does not include any guarantees that these jobs will be good, family-sustaining jobs, or that local residents will get help securing these positions. The redevelopment plan must guarantee good jobs – with responsible contractors and employers, and with a commitment that local residents can get these jobs – in every part of the project.

The City can accomplish this by mandating prevailing and living wages be paid to workers, hiring responsible contractors, requiring businesses or developers to enter into a labor peace agreement, operating job training and apprenticeship programs, and disclosing, reporting, and enforcing labor standards in every step of the process.

Through years of disinvestment, the active amusement area at Coney Island has been shrinking and must be strengthened to become a destination for all New Yorkers and tourists once more. Shrinks the outdoor amusement area from 22 acres to 12 acres, and includes a mixed-use entertainment, retail, and hotel district that will total 27 acres. The City’s plan limits the size of retail spaces, but includes no incentives or guarantees for small businesses and vendors. The Coney Island redevelopment plan must preserve and strengthen the “people’s playground” through an open, affordable, and vibrant amusement area, with spaces for vendors and small businesses, and investment in historic resources.

The City can accomplish this by preserving more space for outdoor amusements, investing in historic icons, dedicating space for small businesses and vendors, providing relocation assistance to any small businesses that are forced to relocate, developing an interim plan for amusements before construction is completed, and reinvesting the revenue from City-owned land back into the community.

Coney Island is a struggling community. In addition to unemployment and housing pressures, residents lack access to healthy food, experience frequent flooding and brown-outs, and long commute times to downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and other major employment centers. The City’s plan does address some infrastructure needs related to flooding;  however, important amenities like schools, supermarkets, and transportation have been left out of the plan. The redevelopment plan must create much-needed public amenities for local residents of the area, including a school and a supermarket, and must significantly improve public transportation.

The City can accomplish this by including a new public school and a supermarket in the redevelopment plan, creating express bus service and bus rapid transit in Coney Island, and committing to a community-based planning study for a deeper assessment of community needs.

You can also download a copy of our more detailed Coney Island for All Policy Platform.