Rally Round

Shams daBaron, known within activist circles as Da Homeless Hero, addressed a crowd assembled outside City Hall to support the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity proposal with the exclamation, “The chorus is for housing!” Almost every speech at the Yes to Housing Coalition Rally in early April was just as clipped and booming and followed by chanting. (“What do we want?” “Housing.” “When do we want it?” “Now!”) But some speakers felt the need to hedge. Rachel Fee, executive director at the New York Housing Conference, seemingly realizing the wholesale restructuring of the city’s zoning districts is about as likely as either American political party renouncing AIPAC, stumped for the “common sense reforms” in the Eric Adams-backed scheme, which would ease office-to-home conversions, permit basement apartments, and generally “build a little more housing in every neighborhood.” Also on the rally’s agenda: A call for the removal of parking minimums! And transit-oriented development! To the eighty or so stalwarts in attendance, these ideas sounded eminently reasonable. One…

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