The City Council approved the mayor's affordable housing zoning proposals Tuesday, but not without drama, as some protesters got kicked out of the Council chamber. NY1's Courtney Gross reports.
Local lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the mayor's controversial affordable housing plan on Tuesday, but the vote occurred in dramatic fashion.
Protesters interrupted the meeting while sitting in the chamber balcony. They glued their hands together, refusing to leave.
Security and police in the Council chamber pulled them apart, leading them one by one out of City Hall.
One man was allegedly hurt in the process, which left the meeting at a standstill. He was eventually carried out of the chamber and left City Hall in an ambulance.
The events were a major distraction from what was supposed to be a clear victory for the de Blasio administration and the Council.
After much talk, the two sides had worked out a compromise on two zoning proposals to force the development of affordable housing in a city with no shortage of development.
"They will fundamentally change how our city approaches affordable and senior housing production. And it is one of the strongest affordable housing plans in the nation," said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
One proposal is called mandatory inclusionary housing, which would force developers to build affordable housing in certain neighborhoods that will be rezoned. The first of those neighborhoods is in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York. Housing under this new plan could be for very-low-income families, including a family of three who makes $31,000 a year.
The other is called zoning for quality and affordability. That sweeping change in the zoning laws would allow developers to build taller buildings in residential neighborhoods. It reduces parking requirements for senior and affordable housing developments, and is specifically aimed at creating more affordable senior housing.
Despite the controversy, the final outcome was never in doubt.
"We heard. We listened. We made the changes. And that's why I think those people are going to be happy," said City Councilman Barry Greenfield of Brooklyn.
The protests may overshadow the Council's vote, but city officials say they will create thousands of units of affordable housing in the years to come.