Supporters of the redevelopment project have taken to wearing the colorful campaign-style shirts to meetings and rallies, like the one held by the advocacy group Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFH) just days before the City Council Land Use Subcommittee's hearing on the $1.2 billion waterfront project.
“This project brings affordable housing without taking away much of anything,” CUFH member Juan Ramos said. “Combine that with the job opportunities it will create, and this is a win-win for the community.”
CUFH has been involved with the 2,400-unit New Domino project since the group was approached by the developer, Community Preservation Corporation Resources (CPCR), which is looking to remake the 11-acre site on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg.
Ramos praised CPCR for engaging the community in the planning process.
“They have really been an open book, which is something that we haven’t gotten from others in the past,” Ramos said. “When we get that sort of cooperation we want to reward them a little bit and show them support.”
Comprised mostly of Cornell University students, a group of nearly 60 CUFH volunteers handed out thousands of flyers at Brooklyn subway stops June 17 in preparation for the council hearing. The students, who volunteered as part of a community outreach program, were required to attend training classes, where the Domino project was a recurring theme.
Ramos said that along with creating 660 units of permanent affordable housing, New Domino will create much-needed jobs, a major reason why the CUFH has put their support behind the project.
Rob Solano, executive director of Churches United for Fair Housing, said it was his goal to highlight both sides of the New Domino project’s story.
“People have been reading a lot of negative things about this project, but there are actually a lot more positive aspects involved,” Solano said. “Significantly more affordable housing is a big part of that.”