Archive for category Opinions
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2013
'War' is declared as city plans luxury development in the middle of public housing
Here we go
The Daily News reports today that the cash-strapped New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is planning on leasing playground and community center space for luxury high-rises
Per the article:
[T]he agency plans to lease out land to private developers who will then build some 3 million square feet of luxury apartments smack in the middle of Manhattan housing projects.
Internal documents obtained by the Daily News show the planned 4,330 apartments in eight developments are all in hot real estate neighborhoods, including the upper East and West Sides, the lower East Side and lower Manhattan.
Of the new units, 20 percent will be set aside as “affordable” — designated for families with net income of $50,000 or less.
But will the richies want to live so close to the poors? Not to worry! Per the article: “The new luxury towers will face away from the old, deteroriating affordable housing.”
As the Daily News put it: “The housing authority is planning its very own Tale of Two Cities.”
On the Lower East Side, a parking lot at the Baruch Houses will be redeveloped into luxury towers. There are also plans to lease a parking garage at Campos Plaza on Avenue C.
Meanwhile, residents are mobilizing against the plan. The Lo-Down has details from last night's CB3 Land Use Committee meeting, where Smith Houses Tenant President Aixa Torres warned: “This is a travesty,” she said. “We are not going to take this… When no one wanted to live here, we stayed… if you want a war, you got a war.”
The upside for the NYCHA: They expect to generate $31 million to $46 million in annual lease payments, “all of which will go toward fixing up deteriorating buildings. The agency currently has a backlog of 420,000 repair orders and faces a $60 million budget gap annually,” the Daily News reported.
Grieve at 10:47 AM
Shawn G. ChittleFebruary 6, 2013 at 11:14 AM
In the grand history of bad ideas in New York City, this may just top the Robert Moses plan to put a highway through the Village.
The NYCHA has officially lost its mind. Lost. It.
Sh!t My Tenants SayFebruary 6, 2013 at 11:23 AM
You mean NOT segregate playgrounds? Yea, the kids can play in city parks with other city kids! As for the parking, lol. This is what happens on a highly populated geographically constrained island with artificial restrictions on building rights and a huge chunk of the housing stock unavailable due to another artificial program, Rent Stabilization…. We are left with no other choice than to take away parking spots of housing projects. See what you have done pro-RS People? Where will they park those BMWs?
Robin MilimFebruary 6, 2013 at 11:29 AM
What are they smoking? I've never heard anything so ridiculous. We need MORE affordable housing so badly, if they can find more space to build…THIS is what they came up with??!! Sickening
AnonymousFebruary 6, 2013 at 11:44 AM
why should affordable housing be smack dab in close proximity to the central business district. I'm all for affordable housing but it should not supplant local housing for people whose taxes subsidize the affordable housing. Were I a recipient of subsidized housing, I'd stay happy about that and keep my trap shut.
AnonymousFebruary 6, 2013 at 12:02 PM
The seeds that Koch sowed have come to fruition.
Bloomberg is giddy like a teenage girl oh her date about this.
AnonymousFebruary 6, 2013 at 12:17 PM
sorry to be a realist
but the fact is the EV is lined with waterfront projects..
this land is super valuable
at some point in the next 25 years these project will be history
CASFebruary 6, 2013 at 12:20 PM
I'd like to see the math they used, because these two statements seem inconsistent…
“NYCHA expects to pocket $31 million to $46 million in annual lease payments”
“Developers will get a sweet deal: a 99-year lease with the lease payments to the authority frozen for the first 35 years”
Sounds like they won't pay anything for the first THIRTY-FIVE YEARS of the deal, so NYCHA won't get that additional operating revenue to fill the budget gap until 2048ish?
Will the lease payment amounts be tied to inflation? $40 million in today's dollars is a lot different than $40 million in 2050 dollars.
Por ejemplo, $40 in 1976 would have been equivalent to $156 in 2011. I don't think $40M is going to buy much in 2050.
So the argument that these lease payments are going to be used to improve the quality of the facilities seems unlikely. Maybe once those payments start (in 2048) they might be applied that way, but by that time the annual budget gaps will be significantly larger (4x if you use historic inflation rates as a guide), so those lease payments won't be making much of a dent.
Sorry to be an econ nerd, but the math doesn't make sense to me. Sounds more like smoke and mirrors to distract people from what is probably the first step in displacing altogether the residents from that housing.
AnonymousFebruary 6, 2013 at 12:22 PM
So, will the kids' play areas in the new luxury high rises face the water so they don't have to stare at the project kids?
AnonymousFebruary 6, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Great idea. Parking lots can't generate the income needed to fix up the NYHA buildings but rents from market-rate tennants can. And this looks to be adding to the stock of affordable housing, not taking away from it.
shmnycFebruary 6, 2013 at 12:50 PM
This move was inevitable, but it is not a fait accompli.
This is the sort of effort worthy of organizing around, but I'd guess a lot of people who oppose 7-Eleven will support this.
blue glassFebruary 6, 2013 at 1:01 PM
anonymous 11:44 affordable housing should not supplant local housing for people whose taxes subsidize the affordable housing. Were I a recipient of subsidized housing, I'd stay happy about that and keep my trap shut.
would you also keep your mouth shut about your taxes going for subsidies for developers of luxury housing?
and do you think everyone that is against this is a low class user of your taxes? or just low class?
shmnycFebruary 6, 2013 at 1:02 PM
Anonymous at 11:29 AM,
Affordable housing is always built in marginal areas. It just so happens that these marginal areas eventually become valuable, and the poor are shuffled somewhere else.
Just this morning I was re-reading David Harvey's “The Right to the City”. http://newleftreview.org/II/53/david-harvey-the-right-to-the-city He describes the same forces at work around the world: the slums of Mumbai, the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and
“In New York City, for example, the billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is reshaping the city along lines favourable to developers, Wall Street and transnational capitalist-class elements, and promoting the city as an optimal location for high-value businesses and a fantastic destination for tourists. He is, in effect, turning Manhattan into one vast gated community for the rich.”
I wouldn't put responsibility squarely on his shoulders, as this is a global phenomenon, but he's certainly doing his part to move things along.
AnonymousFebruary 6, 2013 at 1:24 PM
How many Chinese “low income” people live in Baruch houses, work under the table in Chinatown or in the garment district, and live off subsidized housing and god knows how many other state and federal programs?
AnonymousFebruary 6, 2013 at 1:28 PM
The housing groups in the area such as GOLES and The Cooper Square Committee have already sold us down the river with the SPURA compromise. They are weak and submissive. Don't expect a fight for NYCHA from them. Don't expext anything other than submission from Rosie Mendez, Margaret Chin and Margarita Lopez. Don't expect much from the conservative housing lawyers on CB3 either.
ABCRealFebruary 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM
Not for nothing. But how can people living off the public subsidizing their housing needs…in Manhattan, of all places…have the audacity to try and dictate what NYCHA does with their land in order to make their finances work? If they don't like living next to luxury towers and all the good that will bring to their neighborhoods in terms of increased services and political power, they can move to a slum somewhere else in the city. It's truly unbelievable what people will whine about. Here COMES the neighborhood LES.
Crazy EddieFebruary 6, 2013 at 2:16 PM
I guess none of these Bloomberg A-holes saw “Dead End” (1937). Sigh.
Ken from Ken's KitchenFebruary 6, 2013 at 2:46 PM
NYCHA and the Mayor of Luxury City can paint this as a pragmatic attempt to shore up NYCHA's financial woes, but residents of the targeted neighborhoods can read the writing on the wall. First the market rate towers get built. Then just like day follows night, residents of said market rate towers will at some point in the not too distant future begin complaining to elected officials about the public housing projects next door.
Chin's making pathetic yapping noises about not enough affordable housing in the market rate towers, suggesting to me that this is already a done deal, like the dog and pony show that was put on for new Yankee Stadium deal. Nevertheless, I hope that there's a knock down drag out fight over this.
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