NYCHA residents blast luxury development leasing plan

July 25, 2013 12:00PM

Housing advocates and politicians have already spoken out against New York City’s plan to lease public land to private developers to build luxury housing. But, at an annual New York City Housing Authority public hearing yesterday, hundreds of residents were given a public forum in which they trashed the proposal, DNAinfo reported.

Public housing residents commented on the department’s 2014 priority plan draft, among other issues, at Pace University. NYCHA is looking to raise up to $50 million in annual revenue by allowing developers to take 99-year leases on eight developments and build at least 4,300 new apartments.

“NYCHA has in no way considered our point of view or collaborated with us on this plan,” Carmen Negron, a 43-year resident of the Baruch Houses in the Lower East Side, told the NYCHA board.

Residents are worried the plan brings public housing “one step closer to going private and [residents] being homeless,” Negron said. People complained they found out about the plan through media reports, rather than directly from the NYCHA, DNAinfo said.

“If NYCHA can recapture over $100 million annually — double the amount projected to be generated by the infill under the most optimistic of scenarios — this money can be reinvested in frontline repairs and critical upgrade,” City Council members Margaret Chin, Rosie Mendez and Melissa Mark-Viverito wrote in a joint statement at the hearing, as reported by DNAinfo.

Money generated under the arrangement, NYCHA has said previously, would go toward much-needed repairs on public housing stock. The city said the plan would ensure public housing remains a viable option for low-income New Yorkers, as reported last month. [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer