Fighting Every Step of the Way


I attended an event last Thursday night, at the CUNY Graduate Center, an event hosted by Ben Kallos, the City Councilman for District 5. The event was the fifth year Kallos has hosted the Overdevelopment Forum. If you live anywhere in New York City, you know first hand that REBNY controls the city and they are developing on every open piece of land available. And with help from Bill de Blasio, this now also includes NYCHA.

Because of decades of neglect, Mayor Bill de Blasio's is considering turning over parts of Robert Fulton Houses to private developers so developers can demolition two buildings and replace them with three new taller buildings. The new apartments will be marketed between 70 percent market-rate units and 30 percent affordable. But will the current residents that will be displaced be able to afford living there?

The project would be part of the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program, that would convert the buildings into Section 8 apartments. The mayor plans will convert 62,000 NYCHA apartments over ten years.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson is the council member for the district the Fulton Houses reside in, and he has offered no help to the residents. Johnson has supported the plan.

At Thursday night's event, several people from the group Fight for NYCHA called on Council member Ben Kallos to support their fight to save Fulton Houses from demolition. Kallos acknowledged the group's plight and said he does support their efforts, but did not show an interest in persuading Corey Johnson to back the group. At the end of the night, Fight for NYCHA fought to gain two minutes of speaking time to inform everyone at the event of what is being proposed by the de Blasio administration.

Please watch Louis Flores, of Fight for NYCHA, speak to the audience about the Fulton Houses dilemma

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