NYCHA Development Offers Benefits, Raises Concerns

The New York City Housing Authority is using a new strategy to develop new housing by selling open space. HUD oversees how the development works, but some think it does not offer a fair opportunity for community participation.
November 19, 2008, 10am PST | Judy Chang
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"Around the five boroughs, the New York City Housing Authority controls 2,500 acres of land. This vast swath includes 180,000 of the City's federally subsidized housing units, as well as many acres of land simply landscaped or paved for parking. To the cash-strapped NYCHA, some of these 'underutilized' spaces are now viewed as assets whose dollar value needs to be realized.

To that end, NYCHA announced last month that private developers have been selected to purchase property and construct or renovate 1,000 units of affordable housing on four public housing sites in the South Bronx. The sale of land at Forest Houses, Highbridge Gardens, Soundview Houses and University Avenue was arranged through a relatively new type of partnership between the Authority and the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Under this model, HPD and NYCHA work together to create the development proposals. NYCHA then provides the land and nets a profit - in this case, $29 million. The collaboration is touted as mutually beneficial, furthering the mission of both agencies. But some warn that opening the floodgates to development on public housing property may lead to problems if the process isn't carefully regulated."

Thanks to Chris Narducci

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Published on Monday, November 17, 2008 in City Limits Weekly
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