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April 24, 2005

Letter to the Editor

The New York Times THE CITY
Affordable Housing in Brooklyn

To the Editor:
Your April 17 editorial "Get Brooklyn's Rezoning Right" gets a great deal right by highlighting the need to make affordable housing "a significant piece of the mix." But New York must go further. Rezoning Greenpoint and Williamsburg should also ensure that housing that is supposed to be affordable really is. This means putting a "high performance" template in place for producing buildings that use less heat and power. Reduced building demand means lower operating expenses, which is a direct way to keep down owners' and residents' monthly bills year after year.

This template is particularly relevant to a neighborhood that opposes the construction of new electric power plants in its midst. A green and innovative use of the city's zoning powers would contribute to affordable housing, clean air and even perhaps act as an incentive to green design and manufacturing jobs in this classic industrial area. What an achievement that would be!

Nancy E. Anderson
Lower Manhattan
The writer is executive director of the Sallan Foundation, an urban environmental organization.