A lack of Sunset Park housing options is leading to major concerns about the present and future of the crowded neighborhood, according to the Fifth Avenue Committee, a housing advocacy and community development organization.
A report released by FAC, “2020 Sunset Park Housing Conditions,” provides some grim data regarding elements such as gentrification and the impact of COVID-19.
“In recent years, we have seen Sunset Park’s existing affordable housing crisis exacerbate further under a housing shortage that must be addressed,” said Michelle de la Uz, FAC’s executive director. “New York City has several programs that incentivize residential development with affordable housing and protect tenants, and it is time we recognize the need to combine aggressive affordable housing preservation with targeted housing development without displacement that includes permanently and truly affordable housing and supports our long-time neighbors.”
The report says that in 2010, 8.2 percent of units were considered severely overcrowded, but by 2018 that rate had risen to 9.2 percent, making Sunset Park the fourth most overcrowded neighborhood in New York City.
“According to the New York City Department of City Planning and recent Census numbers, the population of Community Board 7, which encompasses Sunset Park, has grown considerably between 2010 and 2018, from 126,230 to 143,847 residents,” the report says. “However, there has been a net loss of units of housing and most of the housing units that exist were constructed before 1939 and are in poor condition.”
Since 2014, only 949 new housing units have been built in Community Board 7, compared to 28,452 new units in all of Brooklyn, excluding CB7.
“The neighborhood simply does not have enough apartments to support the influx of new residents and recent immigrants and to alleviate overcrowding,” the report says.
The report includes several recommendations to fix housing concerns, such as: preserving the existing housing stock; creating a pipeline of 100 percent permanently affordable housing projects; rezoning for affordability; and further enhancing and promoting tenant protections.