Protestors rally against Inwood rezoning plan, say it will price them out of neighborhood

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Protestors fighting against a proposal to rezone parts of Inwood marched through the neighborhood's streets Monday night.

At one point things got so heated, multiple protestors were arrested. They are concerned the Northern Manhattan neighborhood will loose affordable housing and small businesses.

"What we want are guarantees, like iron clad guarantees, that we are going to have affordable housing for this neighborhood, not just a citywide lottery," protestor Led Black said.

And they directed much of their anger towards local City Councilman Ydanis Rodriquez. Protestors were camping out at his office late last week, after the plan passed the subcommittee.

According to protestor Lena Melendez, "I asked him point blank, 'Are you willing to go back to the table and renegotiate the plan? The rezoning of Inwood that was voted on on August 2? He held up the plan and said, 'This is what I'll be voting on."

According to the latest proposal, 2,500 affordable homes will protected and there will be 1,600 new affordable homes. More than 900 of those will be built on public land. Millions will be invested in parks, the waterfront and infrastructure.

"When the community said there's not enough affordable housing, we fought with this administration to include plans to develop affordable housing in 4 public sites," City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez said.

While the councilman has vowed over and over again this rezoning will do great things for the community, the passionate protestors are not convinced. They are worried about gentrification.

"He is also going to wipe away small business people who have grown this community over the years," protestor Kathy Wakeham said.

"It will take time but I know that at the end of day the whole community will come together because a common interest that all of us have is we want to maintain the landscape of Northern Manhattan," Rodriguez said.

The full City Council vote is scheduled for Wednesday, August 8.

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