NYCHA’s Lopez: Offer Alternative Financial Plan or “Shut Up”

Map by Kim Gledhill/The Lo-Down.

There were more developments this week concerning the controversial proposal to build market-rate apartments on public housing property in New York City.  Click through for a wrap-up. 

  • Tuesday evening, New York City Housing Authority Commissioner Margarita Lopez briefed residents of the Campos Plaza development, on East 13th Street.   A previous session held at the Smith Houses did not go particularly well.  During the meeting at Campos, the former Lower East Side Council member said 26,000 square feet located on two parking lots and a basketball court would be leased for private development.   According to The Local East Village, Lopez told residents the leasing plan is NYCHA’s best hope of raising the money to pay for desperately needed repairs. “If you have a proposal for where to get the money, let me go get it with you… If you don’t, then shut up,” she said.
  • In an interview with the Associated Press, NYCHA Chairman John Rhea suggested the new housing would create more diverse and productive communities. “We’re not trying some social engineering experiment here,” Rhea said, “but to the extent that we create greater income diversity and more mixed-income communities, we think that’s a positive thing.”  The embattled chairman has argued it’s unfair to characterize the new-market rate apartments as “luxury housing.” But as the AP story pointed out, the new “apartments on the Upper West Side, for example, (could) mean $2,544 a month or more for a one-bedroom and $4,047 for a two-bedroom.”
  • Rhea has emphasized that NYCHA has been left with little choice due to government’s failure to fully fund New York’s public housing system.  As City Limits reported, “capital funding (in 2001) was around $420 million, (making up) 99 percent of NYCHA’s operating costs, but in 2011, it was down to only $270 million, and only 89 percent.”  Rhea told the newspaper, “the government has broken its contract… the federal government is telegraphing that the cavalry’s not coming. All signs point to disinvestment. We are faced with a choice: we can walk away, or we can find creative solutions.”

 

4 comments to NYCHA’s Lopez: Offer Alternative Financial Plan or “Shut Up”

  • david

    Just curious how high-income individuals would want to live in the middle of projects.

  • disqus_arLGZxVUJG

    Look at Ave D

  • RobertB

    NYCHA’s plan is a terrible plan. NYCHA is getting very little for what they are giving up in terms of space, light, air, comfort, and environmental health. Sounds like they’re the ones who have broken their contract. The money NYCHA claims it will get 30-50 million per year for all the properties combined, is a pittance compared to what they need and will do little or nothing to stop the financial bleeding. Why did NYCHA pay 10 million dollars for a report to an outside consulting company on its current status and future direction? Are they themselves clueless? Directionless? If they were serious about this, they could (for starters) stop paying 100 million dollars to the NYPD annually for services that citizens are entitled to anyway. Mr. Rhea and his staff could also put more pressure on Washington (why wait for the cavalry?) for emergency funding until normal funding rates are restored. (We are still effectively in a recession and fiscal receipts are low, which is part of the problem.) This is a stop-gap measure that offers a sweetheart deal to large developers. There are no benefits for tenants or for the surrounding communities that I can see. The last thing we need around here is another luxury development.

  • clayton patterson

    Campos Plaza – hmmm- please help me with this. Margarita Lopez wasn’t she was our 2 term LES City COUNCIL elected official? After this hustle didn’t Bloomberg, her friend and mentor, give her a raise and appoint her a NYCA Commissioner position? Isn’t she on the board of NYCHA?

    Now I know it is hard, and I know that there are hundreds of projects in the city, and yes, all the project’s are supposed to have the protection of camera surveillance-but since she is our inside person-our community representative-am I wrong to believe she would have use her position and power to make sure Campos, out of all the city projects, have surveillance cameras? So when 18 year old Keith Salgado was murder where were the cameras? Where are the cameras in the together LES projects?

    Now she and her billionaire friends are attempting to selling the project parking lots. Hello America!!! But we do have a choice. WE NEED ALL NEW POLITICIANS. I am hoping someone of merit will stand up and run-