Land lease program opponents take NYCHA to court

November 09, 2013 02:00PM

The New York City Housing Authority’s controversial land lease program is seeing fresh opposition in court. On Tuesday, representatives from the Urban Justice Center, the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project, tenants’ rights and advocacy groups, and resident associations from five of the eight NYCHA developments targeted for the program will come together to file a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court.

The lawsuit will attempt to prevent NYCHA from accepting bids for its land lease program, which would construct luxury high-rise towers on five NYCHA developments. Legal experts opposing NYCHA plan to argue in court that the agency illegally failed to conduct environmental reviews and a floodplain analysis. Lawyers will also contend that NYCHA has not obtained the necessary legislative approval to solicit bids from private developers, according to a press release.

In October, City Council members and a group of tenants filed another lawsuit against the NYCHA program. The plaintiffs in that suit aimed to have the city rescind expression of interest requests by arguing that housing officials did not have the authority to lease public housing land to high-income residents under state law. –Christopher Cameron