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This morning, we posted a column on the future of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area from Grand Street News editor Yori Yanover. A short time ago, Joel Feingold, an organizer with the affordable housing advocacy group, GOLES, posted a response. Since not everyone reads the "comments" section, we're posting Joel's reply here. If you would like to join the conversation, please reply to the original post.

Yori,

A provocative piece.

Before anything: "Affordable housing" in the context of SPURA has
not yet been defined — so your assumption of housing solely for those
"below the poverty line" just isn't reflected by the facts.


As always in this debate, ethnic and political factors are obscuring how close these "opposing" viewpoints really are.

I want to emphasize that even those of us in the "affordable
housing" camp agree that we need mixed-use development: that means
housing, open space, retail, and culture.

Additionally, the findings of our report "Community Voices and the
Future of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area" are consistent with your
demand for a park — "Open space for recreation and relaxation" was the
third most popular option with the survey's working-class respondents.

The question this time is simple: How can Delancey Street once again
be the Lower East Side's main street, with housing and recreation for
working people and middle-income people — the very people the Seward
Park Co-Op was built to house.

I look forward to further dialogue and debate — indeed, an honest
exchange of ideas is crucial to finding real consensus on this issue.

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