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Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is pushing for changes to a proposed apartment development on land in South Williamsburg formerly owned by Pfizer, asking the city council to reject zoning changes on the land without more affordable housing in planned apartment buildings.

After protesters shut down a hearing on the Pfizer and Bedford Armory projects hosted by the borough president at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Adams sent his recommendations on the land’s future to the city council.

Adams recommended that the city refuse rezoning unless certain changes are made by the project’s developer, the Rabsky Group. Specifically, Adams called for project approval “to be conditional on a special affordable housing bonus permit or other legal mechanism that commits an additional 21,300 square feet of affordable housing at an average rent based on 60% of the median income of the zone”.

Adams also wants Rabsky to agree in writing to build what he called an “appropriate” number of two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments to provide enough units for rent-burdened households who, according to his recommendation, “are more likely to need family-sized unit types.”

The Pfzer development as it currently stands would consist of 1,146 apartments and 25% of them would be reserved as affordable.

Activists opposed to the development of the Broadway Triangle have long argued that every proposed rezoning of the land has favored the area’s Orthodox Jewish population over the neighborhood’s black and Latino populations. The Rabsky Group itself is no stranger to controversy, first after refusing to disclose how much affordable housing it would include in its Rheingold Brewery development plan, then insisting on returning just 20% affordable units.

Adams also wrote that he wants to see changes to the city’s housing lottery that would make it easier for rent-overloaded families to qualify for affordable housing offered by the city, by changing rules around “the strict rent ratio -income requirement not to exceed 30% of income for payment of annual rent.” The BP says the current rules too often disqualify poor families who already spend well over 30% of their annual income on rent.

Churches United For Fair Housing, an activist group opposed to the rezoning plan, welcomed Adams’ decision to reject it in its current form. “This proposed plan should be rejected at every stage of the ULURP process. It will continue the trend of exclusive housing development in our city’s most segregated neighborhood. This plan is anti-black and anti-Latino and we are appalled that this project is still under study.”

The Planning Commission will hold a public meeting on July 26 to consider planning approval.