Our call to Mayor deBlasio

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Dear Mayor de Blasio,

Our community is under siege by developers hoping to cash in on the resurgent housing market. The proposed construction at West End Ave, and West 95th Street will be devastating for affordable housing, it will massively disrupt two public schools and endanger students, and it will exacerbate traffic an already-deadly intersection.

As the city proceeds into a new luxury housing boom, the Department of Buildings’ approval of construction permits has more and more impact – but it’s uniquely uncoordinated with the city’s goals.

  • You set out to ensure all kids have access to pre-K and Kindergarten, but DOB can issue permits that effectively shut down their schools.
  • Your much-touted Vision Zero coordinates six city agencies for street safety – but DOB, which approves major street changes so that heavy equipment like cranes can set up for multi-year projects – isn’t one of them.
  • You’re working to create affordable housing, but DOB can approve permits that effectively force rent-regulated tenants out of their homes.
Because the construction atop 711 West End Ave. will be so destructive, the community broadly opposes it. But DOB is not bound by any policies that make it accountable to our community. DOB’s recent move to bring this particular project into its High-Rise Unit for increased scrutiny is welcome, but it doesn’t address these problems.

Currently, construction must include a Tenant Protection Plan that (in theory) prevents construction from destroying existing tenants' lives. But large-scale construction is impacting communities far beyond existing tenants, and there are virtually no checks on those impacts. In a tightly-packed city where luxury construction is looming over schools, streets, and affordable housing, the construction boom is literally destroying communities.

MR. MAYOR, USE YOUR AUTHORITY TO INTERCEDE IN THE DESTRUCTION AT 711 WEST END AVE. IMMEDIATELY -- BEFORE THE DAMAGE IS DONE. Please direct DOE, DOH, DOT, and HPD to engage with DOB to ensure safety, student rights, and tenant rights are addressed before permits are approved.

We also urge you to act to require a Community Protection Plan for all such construction, to substantively, transparently provide for street safety, air quality, school protection, and the retention of affordable housing.​