Knocking Down the PJs? NYC Considers Building Mixed-Income Residence on Site of Public Housing

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Ask any native New Yorkers, especially black and brown New Yorkers, and “word on the street” has long been the notion that with gentrification would come the demolition of public housing, long the place many poorer black and brown New Yorkers have called home.


Now comes word that the idea is no longer just a notion, with sources telling news outlets that the New York City Housing Authority, the nation’s largest public housing agency, providing homes to 400,000 people, is considering tearing down at least one public housing building in order to make way for a mixed-income residence with a majority of market-rate rentals.

According to Politico, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who campaigned on a platform of increasing affordable housing in the city, is considering demolishing two of the smaller buildings at the Fulton Houses development in Manhattan’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood.

In their place, NYCHA would build a larger mixed-income building, where 70 percent of the tenants would pay market-rate rents, and the remaining 30 percent of the building would be affordable to public housing renters.

In addition, the city would turn over management of the new building to a private company, which, according to Politico sources, would be able to make a profit on the mixed-income site and use those monies to keep the Fulton Houses complex maintained in a way NYCHA has struggled to do.

NYCHA needs $32 billion to make needed repairs over the next five years; $168 million at the Fulton Houses alone, Politico reports.

While the new building was under construction at Fulton, the displaced NYCHA tenants would be housed in two buildings put up on a little-used parking lot currently at the complex, Politico reports.


The news has Fulton Houses residents fearing the loss of their homes, and de Blasio took to Twitter to try to ease their concerns:


But Fulton residents, some of whom have called the complex home for some 50 years, aren’t buying the mayor’s assurances, according to Spectrum New York 1 News.

“I believe they’re going to make those high risers and just forget about us,” one Fulton Houses tenant told the local cable news channel. “ ... Here’s families that have been here 50 years, I got tenants that’s been in my building for 51 years. ... A lot of the tenants in my building are not leaving. At least not without a fight.”




Raineyb1013, Misfit Black Girl Island Denizen

If they do this most of the people living there will end up either moving out of the city, crowded in with relatives, or homeless. The 70/30 split is a joke and worse what is labeled as “affordable” housing is often not. Additionally, the ability to get that “affordable” housing is a lottery, it’s literally a lottery where the odds of “winning” are very, very small. You literally have millions of people putting in for one or two apartments at an affordable rate.

This is the prospectus for some affordable housing in Brooklyn. The income requirements are 30 to 90 percent of area median income. For a single person looking for an apartment there are 17 one bedroom apartments being put out for offer. Two at 30%, 2 at 40%, 2 at 50%, 5 and 60% and 6 and 90%. This puts rent at a range of $426 on the low end to $1091 at the high end. These apartments are actually reasonably priced. It will put one’s housing costs at less than 50% of your gross pay at the various income levels. But 17 apartments in a city where most people are shelling out a huge chunk of their income for rent isn’t going to put a dent in the housing crisis in this city.

Some of these “affordable housing” opportunities require a household income of 60 and 70+K in annual income.

I guess all this is to say that De Blasio is full of shit and isn’t fooling anyone.