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What is Fair Share?

In 2017, NYC City Council wrote a report outlining the policy of even distribution—fair sharing—of public services, both beneficial and least desirable.

Communities of color and lower socioeconomic status, such as Harlem and East Harlem, have historically been the dumping ground for services unwanted in other communities.

It is time to distribute these services evenly throughout the city. These include drug treatment facilities, homeless shelters, halfway houses, mental health facilities, waste treatment facilities.

In the 1989 City Charter (Section 203) it was required of the City Planning Commission to adopt the following criteria:

to further the fair distribution of the burdens and benefits associated with city facilities, consistent with community needs for services and efficient and cost effective delivery of services and with due regard for the social and economic impacts of such facilities upon the areas surrounding the sites.

The fair share criteria guide was previously revised in 1998, when Rudy Giuliani was mayor.

We ask that our federal government representatives, Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Sen. Charles Schumer ensure that funding, such as that established to address the opioid epidemic, be used efficiently and effectively, by placing facilities where they are most needed, and that the facilities be evenly distributed.

While the Greater Harlem Coalition’s focus is not housing, this pair of paragraphs highlighted a parallel issue (affordable housing):

Rezone More Affluent Neighborhoods

One of the biggest criticisms of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan has been its focus on asking lower-income neighborhoods to shoulder the load of new construction in the city, which, critics say, has led to the displacement of longtime residents.

“The system we have allows mainly rich, white neighborhoods to opt out of things, and to say ‘we don’t want that,’ but forces Black, brown and immigrant neighborhoods to take these things on,” said Barika Williams, the executive director of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, a coalition of housing organizations.

Additional research in this area are listed below: