In 1999, the New York City Housing Authority emptied out the 369 units of the Prospect Plaza housing project and pledged $148 million to renovate the complex. But 13 years and $6 million in wasted taxpayers’ funds later, no progress has been made and the surrounding Ocean Hill, Brooklyn community is suffering, according to the New York Daily News.
Despite getting a $21 million grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and hiring a developer, national affordable housing specialist Michaels Development Co., just 37 townhouses have been built near the site in the last 13 years and nothing has become of the four towers that comprised the complex. The lack of residents, which the city moved to other projects in 2000 using taxpayer dollars, has weighed on local businesses for years.
The NYCHA has tried to switch developers on the project because it claims Michaels doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to complete it. The agency wants a new developer to begin construction next year and plans to lower the “affordability” of the apartments, according to the Daily News. But Michaels has sued, saying it can’t get financing because the NYCHA has progressed so slowly on the project and the U.S. HUD is not enforcing any deadlines. [NYDN]