No End to Political Hypocrisy

The City Council is now suing to block the NYC Housing Authority from leasing underutilized land for market rate housing development even though the profits will be plowed back into improving housing authority projects. Leading the charge is City Council Christine Quinn who approved exactly such a development in her own City Council district several years ago. Nor did the City Council protest the more than 4,270 housing units which have already been developed or are in development on Housing Authority property under Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan. Could this lack of principle have anything to do with churning up support among public housing residents for the Mayoral campaign of Democratic candidate Bill De Blasio, who has also opposed leasing NYCHA property for private development?

 

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The Council says the authority shouldn’t be in the business of creating more housing for the affluent. But NYCHA officials say the lease money would go directly into developments and repairs for low-income housing residents.

BY / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

The New York City Council sued Thursday to stop the local housing authority’s plan to lease public land for luxury development.

The Council — joined by housing authority tenants and the Legal Aid Society — contends that New York City Housing Authority should not be in the business of creating more housing for the affluent.

“NYCHA’s sole purpose is to build and maintain affordable housing — not lease public land to make way for luxury apartments,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

–MARCUS SANTOS/ FOR THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

New York City Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea says leasing land will generate $50 million annually for the agency.

 

The New York City Council sued Thursday to stop the local housing authority’s plan to lease public land for luxury development.

The Council — joined by housing authority tenants and the Legal Aid Society — contends that New York City Housing Authority should not be in the business of creating more housing for the affluent.

“NYCHA’s sole purpose is to build and maintain affordable housing — not lease public land to make way for luxury apartments,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

— RAMIN TALAIE/GETTY IMAGES

Michael Bloomberg, New York’s current mayor, backs the NYCHA land-leasing scheme.

 

With three months left in office, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has set in motion a plan to lease land at eight NYCHA Manhattan developments to developers to build 4,300 mostly market-rate apartments that would rent at luxury rates.

 NYCHA Chairman John Rhea says he hopes the rent will generate $50 million a year for the cash-strapped agency and notes that 860 of the apartments would go to lower-income tenants.

 

But residents at seven of the eight targeted locations have come out against the plan, worried that the influx of high-end apartments would worsen gentrification that’s already driving up costs in their neighborhoods.

 

— JEFFERSON SIEGEL

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is against NYCHA leasing land to builders of luxe apartments.

 

Aixa Torres, tenant leader at Smith Houses in lower Manhattan — where NYCHA plans to put up two huge towers on parking lots and basketball courts — welcomed the Council’s lawsuit.

“Hallelujah,” she declared. “They told me they were going to do that and they did it. I’m so glad.”

NYCHA officials said it was “unfortunate” the Council was trying to block a plan that would generate “money that would go directly into developments and repairs for residents.”

The authority’s plan to seek proposals from developers last April was delayed until August after resistance emerged. Proposals are now due Nov. 18.

The suit asks a judge to immediately halt the plan, arguing that the agency has no power to turn over public land “for the purpose of building housing that will be affordable only to high-income individuals.”

 

Source: New York Daily News

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