The de Blasio Administration's plan to partner with private developers to solve the NYCHA disaster is about to hit a wall.
Angered by the recent decision to demolition two buildings in the Robert Fulton Houses, in Chelsea, NYCHA residents attended a Press Conference, on Sunday to begin organizing fellow tenants to thwart the Mayor's plan from happening. Activists, Marni Halasa, Louis Flores, and Norman Siegel, the former executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union were responsible for the Press Conference.
City officials are planning to demolish two NYCHA buildings which are part of the Robert Fulton Houses. The buildings would be replaced with much taller buildings; plus one additional building is planned to rise on what is now a parking lot. The new buildings would be mixed-income. 70% of buildings would be market-rate, with the remaining 30% to be “affordable” for the current tenants.
And while the local elected leaders like Congressman Jerry Nadler, City Council President, Corey Johnson, seem to have agreed with this plan, there have been no meetings with the tenants. One woman is quoted saying, "they knocked on the door and said you have to move in two years and that was all they said."
At the start of the Press Conference, Norman Siegel said in his presentation, "you don't have to agree with this; it ain't over." He went on to say that New York was in the leadership 80 years ago to create Public Housing in America, and it did, on East 3rd street and Avenue A, and we should not be thinking of demolitioning Public Housing buildings now."
The NYCHA complex would become part of RAD, the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program that President Obama signed, supposedly, to protect the Public Housing tenants. The tenants being forced out of their apartments would move to one of the new buildings once completed. At least that is what is planned. NYCHA would continue to own the land but lease the site to a developer, who would then manage the complex. The plan is apparently, what the city's administration wants to do throughout the city. Other buildings in Brooklyn are being considered for this process too. It could be the beginning of the end for NYCHA, if not stopped.