Almost immediately after the controversial plan to upzone Inwood passed two crucial City Council votes on Thursday, protesters began occupying the office of Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, who threw his support behind the de Blasio administration's plan.


On Friday, Ayisha Ogilvie, a member of Community Board 12, was arrested while occupying Rodriguez's office. An NYPD spokesman said that Ogilvie was warned three times to move away from the entrance to Rodriguez's office on West 177th Street, and then was arrested and given a summons for disorderly conduct.

A spokesperson for Rodriguez did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

“We don’t believe that it’s an affordable housing plan when such a small fraction of the units will actually be affordable to low income families in our neighborhood,” says Ava Farkas of the MET Council on Housing, a non-profit organization advocating for tenants’ rights.

Farkas was among the twenty people who spent Thursday night in Rodriguez’s office, and they were joined by around twenty more protesters outside.

Rodriguez, who represents Inwood and Washington Heights, had negotiated a large commercial section of the up-zoning to be taken out, and introduced a pilot program for a form of commercial rent control. He argues that the new plan will create and preserve over 5,000 affordable housing units, and bring $200 million of City money into the neighborhood.

"These negotiations are an opportunity to bring many of the resources we currently lack in our neighborhood," Rodriguez said in a release.

Farkas dismissed the deal as too little, too late, and pushed back against the affordability claim because developers Madd Equites and Taconic haven’t released approved income levels for future housing.“It’s totally unacceptable,” Farkas added.

De Blasio told WNYC's Brian Lehrer this morning that while he understood concerns about the rezoning, “The market forces are already creating the pressure on rent and on folks living in the community."

"When the government steps in and creates some rules and some boundaries and guarantees of affordability it actually re-balances the equation in favor of the people," de Blasio said.

The rezoning vote involving the entire city council is set for August 8th.

As of 5:15 p.m., Ogilvie has been released, and there are at least two protesters left in Rodriguez's office.

Additional reporting by Brandon Gillespie and Christopher Robbins.