Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is considering partnering with private developers to tear down and rebuild some New York City Housing Authority properties.
Officials want to take this approach at Chelsea’s Fulton Houses, as they believe the land there is valuable enough to net them a profit that would fund capital needs at the complex, where repairs are expected to cost $168 million over five years, according to Politico.
Under the plan, workers would demolish two smaller buildings at Fulton and replace them with a larger one. The city would construct two new buildings on a parking lot in the complex and relocate residents there.
The new larger building would be split between 70 percent market-rate units and 30 percent affordable ones.
The project is part of the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program, which moves complexes into the Section 8 program. De Blasio said in November that the city plans to use this program to repair 62,000 NYCHA apartments over 10 years.
Local elected officials had mixed feelings about the plan. Council Speaker Corey Johnson has seemed open to the idea, but state Sen. Brad Hoylman told Politico he was “very concerned about the movement toward privatization in New York City’s public housing stock.”
“The success of this approach is really dependent on the continued strength of the housing market,” he said. “What happens if a developer goes belly up?” [Politico] – Eddie Small