Public housing is better off under private management: study

The study of six buildings was conducted at NYCHA's request

Jun.June 17, 2018 05:43 PM

(Credit: Nick Youngson)

Developers who managed six public housing buildings put residents’ fears to rest about how private management would treat them, according to a report to be released tomorrow.

The Wall Street Journal reviewed an advanced copy of the report, conducted by the Citizens Housing and Planning Council,  and noted that in 2016, 80 percent of tenants in the privately-managed buildings rated the quality of housing as good or excellent, compared to 35 percent who did the same for housing managed by the New York City Housing Authority.

In the private buildings, only 2,100 work orders were filed compared to over 12,000 in the NYCHA-managed housing, while tenant turnover was at 6 percent compared to 2 percent, respectively.

The six privately-managed buildings were bought in January 2014 by a partnership of developers that included BFC Partners, L+M Development Partners and K&R Preservation. Together, they bought a 50 percent stake and began managing the properties in January 2015–part of which entailed an upfront investment of $80 million to do initial repairs and updates. Tenants in the partnership’s six buildings got Section 8 rental subsidies.

NYCHA had requested the research for the report in 2015. The authority, which overseas 176,000 apartments in New York and needs an estimated $25 billion to repair its portfolio of housing stock, has met resistance when its officials have tried to advance investment from private companies.

Last week, records from the authority’s were seized as part of a criminal probe into the beleaguered authority’s building inspections. [WSJ]Erin Hudson

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