Critics of the plan suspect that the city will not just tinker with details to improve residents’ lives, but will rezone the area in a way that will lead to mass displacement of current residents. The city says that’s not so.
The number of drug rehabilitation facilities in the South Bronx has long exceeded the neighborhood’s ability to absorb them, say Hunts Point residents who fear the opening of yet another one.
They hoped to spread the word about the city’s Right to Counsel law, which passed in Aug. 2017, allowing tenants in certain neighborhoods free legal service to prevent them from being evicted.
Some South Bronx residents remain skeptical of the city’s plan to convert a 130-block area along Southern Boulevard into a dazzling new development, insisting that the project will benefit everyone but them.
The Bronx Borough President’s office has allocated more than $3 million in capital funding for five housing developments, including $800,000 for The Peninsula on Spofford Avenue in Hunts Point and $500,000 for a new development at 111 Willow Avenue in Port Morris.
South Bronx residents confronted city officials at an open house in East Tremont last Thursday, over the proposed rezoning of a large swath of Southern Boulevard between Longwood and Crotona Park.
With 10 new residential buildings under construction in the neighborhood, including the Peninsula on the old Spofford juvenile prison site, many affordable housing opportunities will be opening soon.
Demolition of the former Spofford juvenile detention center will start this summer, now that the City Council has given the green light to The Peninsula, the development that will replace it.
The Department of Housing and Preservation Development is providing free financial counseling and housing assistance for residents seeking affordable housing.