How to revitalize city housing: OPINION

January 20, 2014 03:35PM

Revitalizing the New York City Housing Authority’s aging infrastructure is a daunting task, but indisputably important. Leonard Grunstein argues in a recent Crain’s op-ed that the city needs to tap modern financial tools, scale back construction regulation and seek federal assistance in order to rescue some of the city’s most decrepit housing stock.

Grunstein urged the city to look harder at public-private partnerships and while loosening use and zoning regulations that inhibit new construction.

He pointed to the partnership between the Battery Park City Authority, the state and city and private developers — which successfully overhauled that area, marginalized by the 9/11 attacks but now an attractive residential area — as a possible template. He also wagged a finger at the city for not readily taking advantage of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s grant program, saying the Big Apple should follow examples set on that front by Boston and Chicago.

Grunstein also proposed the implementation of a 50/30/20 program that would designate 50 percent of units for luxury housing, 30 percent for middle-income and 20 percent for low-income.

Lastly, he took aim at rising taxes, writing that city leaders should redevelop housing projects rather than boost taxation to fund their maintenance. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland