A group of Brooklyn activists announced a settlement Monday after an eight-year battle with the city over the affordable housing components of the Broadway Triangle development.
The city has agreed to make the five buildings at the former Pfizer site entirely affordable units and will work to “combat the history of racial discrimination and segregation in the area,” according to a statement by the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition.
The coalition, comprised of residents, business leaders and housing advocates, said this was a major victory for the Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant communities.
“Affordable housing in the Broadway Triangle is more important than ever, given the rapid gentrification and displacement of families who have lived here for generations,” said coalition member Juan Ramos.
The coalition teamed with the NYCLU in 2009, filing the suit against the Bloomberg administration following a proposal to develop the land for mixed use. They contended the proposal had racial bias — the affordable apartments were located within Brooklyn Community Board 1, which includes the predominantly white areas of Williamsburg, and the city gave no preference to nearby Bed-Stuy, where the majority of residents are not white.
A judge issued an injunction on the development in 2011, halting construction, and settlement discussions began three years later.
A spokesman for the city’s law department said the city was ready to move past the case.
“We’re very pleased with the outcome, and we look forward to working with our community partners to keep this part of Brooklyn affordable,” the spokesman said.
As part of the agreement with the plaintiffs, the city will give preference for half the units to Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy residents. The city also agreed to a $2.4 million, three-year contract with Brooklyn Legal Services Corp. to provide fair housing workshops and legal representation to people with housing discrimination complaints in the Broadway Triangle area.