About

The real estate corporations, big business elite, and the New York City political machine have banded together to build luxury housing, promote the police occupation of our neighborhoods, and destroy the cultural, social, and economic diversity of our communities all in the name of making a profit. The time is Now! for Brooklyn residents and groups to create a grassroots movement and campaign to prevent the displacement of low-to-middle income people, elders, families and mom-and-pop businesses from Brooklyn.

We Say, “Not 1 more person displaced! Not 1 more luxury development, until we have affordable housing for all!”

The following is our twelve-point platform directed at New York City and State government that serves as both our points of unity as well as goals that we are determined to win through grassroots organizing, mass-based political education, policy change and direct action.  Affordable for who? Affordable for  us!

BAN Demands:

1. We demand universal rent-stabilization in NYC.
2. We demand that not one more rent-stabilized unit is destabilized and an end to tenant harassment.
3. We demand hands off New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).
4. We demand hands off SCRIE, DRIE, and HASA.
5. We demand that NYC Council pass The Small Business Jobs Survival Act– SBJSA Intro 0402-2014. Keep neighborhood businesses safe.
6. We demand that Area Median Income (AMI) is based on the community where housing will be built
7. We demand that Mayor De Blasio stop allowing NYC land and housing to be bought up by foreign investors.
8. We demand a permanent end to the 421-A and similar tax breaks that subsidize luxury development and investment of the billion dollar plus yearly giveaway in immediate construction of permanent housing for the homeless.
9. We demand an end to the construction of segregated housing.
10. We demand that community boards are elected, not appointed.
11. We demand full transparency of Mayor De Blasio’s Housing Plan.
12. We demand alternative and creative affordable housing for all.

1. We demand universal rent-stabilization in NYC.

The majority of New Yorkers currently live in non rent-stabilized housing and are at the mercy of their landlords. We demand that all rental units in NYC fall under the current rent-stabilization law. The rent-stabilization laws were originally created to address a housing crisis. We are in a state of emergency, with a record number of 60,000 people in the NYC shelter system each night and the majority of New Yorkers ‘rent-burdened’ according to city government standards, we demand the expansion of rent stabilization to create permanent housing for all New Yorkers.

2. We demand that not one more rent-stabilized unit is destabilized and an end to tenant harassment.

Landlords use an arsenal of shady and often illegal tactics to knock apartments out of qualifying for rent stabilization. When rent for an apartment surpasses $2,700 per month, it is no longer protected by rent stabilization. Since landlords can legally increase rent 20% when an apartment is vacated, this gives them incentive to push tenants with rent stabilization out. We demand that not one more rent-stabilized apartment is destabilized. Period.

3. We demand hands off New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

We demand dignified and permanent public housing for all who need it. We demand the preservation of all NYCHA housing and an end to ‘leasing’ i.e. selling off of NYCHA land. NYCHA residents are being displaced through the warehousing of NYCHA apartments, the removal of section 8 tenants out of NYCHA housing, the deliberate withholding of basic services and repairs, and through the blatant lies of elected officials and community leaders.

4. We demand hands off SCRIE, DRIE, and HASA.

NYC Programs Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE), Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) are rent freeze programs for elderly and disabled New Yorkers. Additionally, the HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) provides access to money and services for low-income people with AIDS and people who are HIV positive. These programs must be accessible, accountable and transparent and harassment-free. These programs are in jeopardy, but we demand housing for our seniors, people with disabilities, and people living with HIV or AIDS. We demand hands off SCRIE, DRIE, and HASA.

5. We demand that NYC Council pass The Small Business Jobs Survival Act– SBJSA Intro 0402-2014. Keep neighborhood businesses safe.

Huge corporations are changing the landscape of our communities with their chain store brands and pushing out the small businesses and mom-and-pop shops that have historically made Brooklyn unique. These are our neighbors. The Small Business Jobs Survival Act – SBJSA “supports a 10 year minimum lease, with equal negotiating power as the landlord for new terms, an end to the ever-changing yearly burden of landlords passing on their property tax expenses and an end to rent-gouging and exorbitant rent increases would indefinitely protect our small businesses over corporate moguls.” We demand the passing of The Small Business Jobs Survival Act

6. We demand that Area Median Income (AMI) is based on the community where housing will be built

“Affordable housing” units are priced based on Area Median Income (AMI), however, AMI is calculated using the entire greater NYC region. That means income levels in Westchester and Long Island impact and raise the price of what is considered “affordable” in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and working class neighborhoods in Manhattan. This actually makes “affordable” housing unattainable to low to middle income people of this city. We demand that AMI is based on the community where housing will be built. Affordable for who? Affordable for us!

7. We demand that Mayor De Blasio stop allowing NYC land and housing to be bought up by foreign investors.

City government needs to stop allowing foreign investors to gain citizenship and investment return by building luxury housing. Foreign investors are using our real estate as a way of holding their money rather than building communities. We need real affordable housing in NYC.

8. We demand a permanent end to the 421-A and similar tax breaks that subsidize luxury development and investment of the billion dollar plus yearly giveaway in immediate construction of permanent housing for the homeless.

The NYS 421-a Tax Incentive program is a partial real estate tax exemption for the new construction of multi-family rental housing, essentially used by developers as a tax break to build luxury housing. It was created in the 1970s to create an incentive to build in NYC, during a time when many people were moving out of the city to the suburbs. In 2014, NYC lost $1.1 billion in tax revenues to billionaire developers who are destroying our communities by building unaffordable housing that causes gentrification and displacement. For example, the infamous Colony 1209 (now 1209 Dekalb) in Bushwick received a 421-A tax break worth $8 million dollars–money that should have gone to public resources including schools, libraries and hospitals–for their luxury complex. The 421-a tax break expired in January 2016, pending an agreement between REBNY and construction unions. We demand a permanent end to the 421-A and similar tax breaks that subsidize luxury development and accelerate the displacement of local communities. And we demand investment of the billion dollar plus yearly giveaway to the real estate industry from 421a in immediate construction of permanent housing for the homeless.

9. We demand an end to the construction of segregated housing.

Although the ‘poor door’ housing policy has been eliminated due to public outrage, NYC still permits segregated housing by allowing developers of luxury housing to build their ‘affordable units’ separately. This segregates tenants by income to dehumanize, humiliate, and discriminate against people with lower incomes. This practice is a disgusting example of obnoxious elitism and blatant segregation. We demand an end to this practice. Stop Jim Crow – No more segregated housing in Brooklyn.

10. We demand that community boards are elected, not appointed.

Community boards are currently appointed by each Borough President and therefore are not truly accountable or beholden to the community. We want to empower community boards to be more than just advisory and to have veto power. We demand and will work to change the New York City Charter so that Community Boards will be elected.

11. We demand full transparency of Mayor De Blasio’s Housing Plan.

New York’s supposedly progressive mayor should know that democracy doesn’t function when government operates behind closed doors. We will not accept partial transparency. This is a no-brainer. We demand full transparency of Mayor De Blasio’s Housing Plan. This includes which neighborhoods are scheduled to be rezoned or upzoned, where new developments are to be built, and other crucial information that helps us prepare and protect our communities!

12. We demand alternative and creative affordable housing for all.

While New York is littered with vacant and boarded up buildings, and apartments purposely kept empty by landlords waiting for rent increase opportunities (also known as warehousing), developers insist on constructing new luxury buildings. We know the city could create an abundance of affordable housing if they weren’t focused on promoting luxury buildings to the detriment of our communities. We will not accept one more person being pushed out of their home; we will not tolerate warehousing of public housing; and we will not allow one more luxury unit built until there is adequate housing for everyone—100% affordable housing! We want preservation over development. We demand alternative and creative affordable housing for all.

The Brooklyn Anti-gentrification Network (BAN) was initiated by Equality for Flatbush in  2015.