Transforming Nycha: Federal Funding Oversight And The Blueprint For Change
News & Events | January 12th 2022 | Zi Lin Liang
On December 9th, the NYU Furman Center hosted a virtual policy breakfast titled Transforming NYCHA: Federal Funding, Oversight, and the Blueprint for Change. The New York City Housing Authority faces both immense challenges and historic opportunities. Our panel offered local, state, federal, and tenant perspectives on NYCHAs path forward and the nuanced balance between urgent rehabilitation and long-term revitalization.
The NYU Furman Centers Executive Director Matthew Murphy opened the event with a presentation providing the regulatory and economic context for the discussion. Review the presentation outlining NYCHAs capital needs, oversight structure, and transformation plans. Currently, significant federal funds for public housing capital needs are looking less likely in Washington, while the fate of NYCHAs ambitious Blueprint for Change remains uncertain in Albany.
NYU Furman Center Faculty Director Katherine ORegan moderated the panel discussion, which included:
- Brian Benjamin, Lieutenant Governor, State of New York
- Walter McNeil, President, Edenwald Houses Tenant Association
- Damaris Reyes, Executive Director, Good Old Lower East Side
- Gregory Russ, Chair & CEO, New York City Housing Authority
- Daniel Sherrod, Director of Federal Monitorships, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Dsa Are Transactional And They Appear Not To Mind To Transact Nycha Into Oblivion
It appears that, yet again, the NYC DSA have their eyes on another scheme that would lead to a wholesale end of Section 9 public housing, the sole bedrock of true housing security in gentrified New York City.
Their latest artifice is the NYCHA Preservation Trust, a plan concocted by NYCHA CEO Gregory Russ with the support of then Mayor Bill de Blasio and current Mayor Eric Adams . We know that the DSA, led by State Sen. and campaign consultant Cea Weaver have been apparently negotiating with the Real Estate Board of New York for passage of alleged anti-eviction legislation that some portray as a roll-back of landmark rent laws passed in 2018. Its been reported that Ms. Weaver was complaining that REBNY would not support for the Good Cause legislation in exchange for an extension of the corrupt and racist 421-a luxury real estate development tax abatement programme. Because the State Sen. Salazar and other DSA leadership have attacked autonomous organisers of public housing residents, it appears that the DSA may be using passage of the Preservation Trust as an inducement to get REBNYs support for the Good Cause legislation.
Since his election, Mayor Adams has turned out to be a delusional, neoconservative nightmare, supporting the return of racist Broken Windows policing tactics and an end to all pandemic mitigations. Its not known why the DSA would negotiate to support Mayor Adams real estate agenda, unless, perhaps, there was corruption involved ?
It Appears That Mayor Bill De Blasio Should Have Put Rad/pact Conversions Through The Ulurp Process But He Didnt
Because protests have not worked, the last few members of Fight For NYCHA have sued Mayor Bill de Blasio , the City of New York, NYCHA CEO Greg Russ, and NYCHA to stop the RAD/PACT privatisation of public housing !
The lawsuit we filed was largely based on the lawsuit filed by Beep Gale Bewer to stop the infill development at Holmes Tower, which she won after Mayor de Blasio backtracked from the unlawful plans for the real estate development in the Upper East Side.
We had no choice but to file this lawsuit after activism to mobilise public housing residents failed in New York City due to many community groups and nonprofit orgs running interference for Mayor de Blasio and other corrupt Electeds. Remember how one nonprofit hosted Council Speaker Corey Johnson at a Black church in Brooklyn after it came to be known he supported the sell-out of public housing in Chelsea. Even after we exposed the truth of how some Socialist Democrats were collaborating with Mayor de Blasio in his scheme to end all Section 9 public housing, it came to a shock to many that it took direct action in the face of the DSA to put a halt to the Blueprint.
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Property Directory As Of June 2022
NYCHA’s Property Directory is divided into four sections: Address, Development, Political Districts, and the Block and Lot guides. These four indexed property data guides provide easy access to information about properties owned by NYCHA. A new section, RAD/PACT Development Directory, includes all NYCHA developments transferred to the RAD/PACT program.
Three Nycha Developments On The Upper East Side Ranked Among The Worst In The Us
Google Street View of the Holmes Towers
The federal government ranked three Upper East Side public housing buildings as some of the worst in the United States, the New York Post reported Monday. The Department of Housing and Urban Development gave the Holmes Towers, the Isaacs Houses and Robbins Plaza just 25 points out of a maximum of 100 as a measure of quality following recent inspections. Out of the more than 3,800 scores counted by HUD last year, the three complexes tied for 13th worst in the country.
Located between 93rd and 95th Streets, the Isaacs Houses include three 24-story buildings and contain 635 apartments. The Holmes Towers sits south of Isaacs and consists of two 25-story towers, with 537 apartments. The Robbins Plaza building, at East 70th Street, has 150 units designated for seniors.
A score of 25 remains the lowest given to any NYCHA management team since January 2015. The data provided by HUD does not show specific details about the problems, but an expert on public housing, Susan Popkin, told the Post the structural problems most likely include faulty elevators, boilers and roofs.
Rendering of the Holmes Towers via NYCHA
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Cea Weaver Played The Part Of A Dumb Blonde When It Came To Mayor Bill De Blasios Use Of Section 8 Vouchers To End Public Housing As We Know It
Over Labour Day week-end, NYCHA tenant leader Melanie Aucello called-out the alleged misrepresentations and gaslighting by the DSA housing policy leader, Cea Weaver, about the use of Section 8 rental assistance vouchers to end Section 9 public housing in New York City, according to a report published by the Real Deal.
In response to Aucellos entreaties, Weaver asked Aucello to table the NYCHA talk, but Aucello wasnt having any of it, according to the report.
And then the name-calling began.
As revealed by Fight For NYCHA, Weaver and a group of New York State legislators, which appeared to include State Sen. , State Sen. Jabari Brisport , Assemblymember , were on the cusp of agreeing to support passage of the controversial Blueprint for Change for NYCHA last spring that would have convert all non-RAD/PACT public housing apartments into a new entity that would have effectively brought about the end of all Section 9 public housing in New York City. The Blueprint was stopped after Fight For NYCHA, in a coälition with others known as NYCHA Is Not For Sale, exposed the hypocrisy of DSA leaders supporting the end of public housing.
Weaver never answered the question.
The Citys Examination Found Residents Of Several Brooklyn And Manhattan Developments Placed Into The Rad Program Have Alleged That Private Contractors And Building Managers Botched Renovations Now Some Officials Say An Infusion Of Federal Funds Could Render Rad Obsolete
On a November morning in 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio convened the press in a community center at The Bronx Betances Houses to announce what he proclaimed a transformative moment for the long-troubled New York City Housing Authority.
De Blasio had decided to embrace Rental Assistance Demonstration or RAD, a controversial Obama-era reform in which management of public housing apartments is turned over to the private sector in exchange for much-needed upgrades.
The mayor planned to transition 62,000 of the housing authoritys 171,000 apartments into RAD by 2028, declaring, This is a turning point for tens of thousands of NYCHA residents.
Because some critics see RAD as the first step toward privatization of public housing, the mayor emphasized that NYCHA would retain ownership of the properties, rent would stay capped at no more than 30% of a tenants income and no resident would be displaced.
Mayor Bill de Blasio pledges big improvements for residents of 62,000 NYCHA apartments, Nov. 19, 2018.
Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
His biggest selling point: a promise that NYCHA would ensure private managers keep apartments safe while helping fix a public housing system in need of tens of billions of dollars in repairs.
Three years later, a growing number of potholes have emerged on the road to RAD.
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Mayor Bill De Blasio Said He Would Use $1 Billion In Cuts To The Nypd Budget To Advance Social Justice He Lied Now Nbc News Has Caught Him Increasing The Nypd Budget By $200 Million
Mayor Bill de Blasio was busted by NBC News in an investigation one year after the defund the police movement led to his promise to cut $1 billion from the budget of the New York Police Department and to use that funding stream, instead, to make some transformative changes at the department, in the words of Mayor de Blasios chief enabler, Council Speaker Corey Johnson .
Not only did the $1 billion cut made in June 2020 never materialise, but an additional $200 million was added to the NYPD budget in June 2021, according to NBC News.
Last year, outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city council moved to cut roughly $1 billion from the polices $6 billion budget and invest it in youth and social services. De Blasio wrote in a tweet then that Our young people need to be reached, not policed. But just a year later, officials adopted the citys largest budget ever, at $98.7 billion, for fiscal year 2022, which included a $200 million increase for police spending.
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New York City mayor Eric Adams recently announced a $23 million pilot program to enhance access to public open spaces, playgrounds, and parks at six NYCHA housing developments. The project includes three developments in Queens, two developments in The Bronx, and one development in Brooklyn.
A 24-year-old man was fatally shot in front of a BronxNYCHAdevelopment, cops said Tuesday. Jamel Shuler was shot in the upper body in front of the Forest Houses on E. 165th St. near Trinity Ave. Todt Hill Houses has seven, 6-story buildings with 502 apartments. Completed June 1, 1950, the 13.34-acre Staten Island development is bordered by. Posted Thu, Dec 20, 2018 at 2:48 pm ET. BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — NYCHA is the city’s worst landlord and its worst building are in Brooklyn, according to New York City’s public advocate. Letitia James.
Private Developers have taken control of a few NYCHAdevelopments in East New York. Below is the press release from one of the groups. Mar 02, 2022 · The New York City Housing Authority , the largest public housing authority in North America, was created in 1935 to provide decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers.
These combined efforts will enable NYCHA to upgrade 120,000 apartments at up to 130 developments, or 67 percent of the Authority’s building portfolio, benefiting nearly 262,000 residents. List of Developments Lincoln Patterson Saint Nicholas Pomonok Breukelen Soundview ..
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Even Before Any Political Splish
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi let U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters replace U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez as the author of the text of the funding bill for public housing, despite Majority Leader Schumers professed preference for U.S. Rep. Velázquezs text.
The political jockeying is expected continue, as we learn whether U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will follow through with whispers of a primary challenge against Majority Leader Schumer in next years Midterm elections. In the months leading up to the passage of the Budget Reconciliation, U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez rejected in favour of allying with corporate Democratic Party leadership.
However, if the new National funding for public housing falls even one penny short of the $80 billion goal, public housing residents should not view any possible primary challenge by U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez against Majority Leader Schumer as an ends to saving Section 9 public housing from condemnation by neglect. Long ago, we saw U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez abandon without apology her own make-shift pubic housing bill. Its important to note that AOCs text to save public housing did nothing to stop the RAD/PACT or Blueprint sell-out of public housing. Few have forgotten that AOC even refused to take a stance on the privatisation of public housing at a Bronx town hall meeting.
What Will It Take For You To Fight For Your Homes
The politicians you sided with are about to steal your homes and give them away to Stephen Ross, a billionaire supporter of Trumps White nationalist agenda.
Already, we have heard that NYCHA residents are being denied pandemic rental assistance and are having trouble getting their lease renewals. With the eviction moratorium ending today, you have fewer protections.
Theres no way that Stephen Ross is going to fix your apartments without a price. He no doubt plans to bulldoze your homes the way lands get cleared elsewhere.
Weve also learned that many lawyers are afraid to sue Eric Adams and NYCHA to stop RAD/PACT conversions, because they know that judges wont hold the City of New York and NYCHA accountable. Behind your back, lawyers admit they protect corruption.
The only way you are going to keep your homes is for you to fight for them.
We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
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Why Are You Doing That
A few floors up from Vasquez, Angel Reyes, 62, a former Marine whos retired on disability, was trying to figure out why the renovation of his bathroom appeared to spawn mold.
Last spring, Renewal installed a plastic shower wall covering before fixing his busted bathroom ventilation system. So every time Reyes used the shower, moisture built up to the point where he had to run a mop along the walls and ceiling.
Despite his efforts, mold soon covered the tub edge connected to the new shower walls. This went on for months until Renewal finally arrived to repair the ventilation duct on Sept. 18. Workers wound up removing and replacing caulking theyd installed with the shower wall, NYCHA officials confirmed.
They should have done first, Reyes said. Why are you doing that? Thats like changing your shoes without changing your socks.
NYCHA handed over management of 190 Marcy Ave. in Brooklyn to private operators under its RAD program.
Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY
Renewal is also renovating another nearby RAD development,Independence Towers. Since January, city buildings inspectors have cited Renewal six times for code violations there.
At a Wilson Street building, inspectors halted work in January and cited Renewal for excessive construction debris throughout public corridors and stairwells. Renewal paid a $2,500 fine, records show.
A worker for Renewal enters a NYCHA building on Wilson Street.
Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY
Slumlords Are Advising Mayor Adams
Mayor Adams faced new questions about his ethical judgment after it was revealed that his transition team included an officer for one of the landlords of the Bronx apartment building that was the site for a deadly fire last week-end. Rick Gropper is an officer of the Camber Property Group, one of the owners of the apartment buildings operating company, Bronx Park Phase III Preservation LLC.
In the face of the obvious conflict-of-interest, Mayor Adams has promised to investigate the cause of the fire at one of the properties of one of his key political supporters.
Many are worried that, as Mayor Adams tries to do damage control over so many scandals and controversies, hell be unfocused to formulate sound public health policy in the face of the uncontrolled Coronavirus pandemic. In a show of no-confidence, hundreds of public school students walked out on classes on Tuesday to highlight unsafe conditions in schools they are calling for a remote education option until the Omicron variant outbreak subsides.
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The Far Rockaway Village Queens
Following the rezoning of downtown Far Rockaway in September 2017, the New York City Housing Development Corp. secured more than $193 million in financing on behalf of Phipps Houses for the development of a 457-unit affordable housing project in the Far Rockaway Village in Queens. Additionally, Phipps Houses self-financed the project with a $40.4 million construction loan.
Situated at 20-02 Mott Ave., the project represents the revitalization of an abandoned parking lot, bringing housing, public space and around 90,000 square feet of retail space to the area.
The project has 46 units reserved for formerly homeless persons. Phipps Houses broke ground on the development at the beginning of 2019 and expects to complete it by the first quarter of 2022.
Mayor Eric Adams Starts Off On The Wrong Foot With Controversies Already Threatening To Hobble His Nascent Administration
On the third day of being in office, Mayor Eric Adams faced a barrage of criticism in a report published in the Guardian. He was exposed for being personality-driven instead of policy-driven. He was expected to keep exploiting identity to his personal advantage over helping the communities, which elected him to office. And he was expected to continue the sell-out of public housing.
Mayor Adams critics spanned across the focal points in progressive politics, from the Working Families Party to institutional nonprofit groups, like Make The Road New York.
His focus is going to be on his big-money donors. Thats been his track record all along. Thats not a secret, said a member of Fight For NYCHA.
Critics of Mayor Adams were validated, in part, by questionable appointments made by Mayor Adams to top administration roles : scandal-tarred Philip Banks III to serve as deputy mayor for public safety Bernard Adams, the mayors younger brother, to serve as deputy commissioner at the NYPD and Brooklyn political-fixer Frank Carone to serve as his chief of staff.
The appearance that Mayor Adams was rewarding his supporters with patronage jobs came as Mayor Adams attacked individuals in front-line service industries, like restaurants, as low-skill workers.
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