Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson blasted the City's Housing agency's plan to lease out unused public space and playgrounds to private developers to build luxury apartments in the middle of Manhattan housing projects. Mr. Thompson called the plan a "wrongheaded move" against the purpose of the NYCHA.
Internal documents obtained by the Daily News show the planned 4,330 apartments in eight developments are all in hot real estate neighborhoods, including the upper East and West Sides, the lower East Side and lower Manhattan. Developers will get a sweet deal: a 99-year lease with the lease payments to the authority frozen for the first 35 years. And they’ll get a big break on property taxes because 20% of the units will be set aside as “affordable,” while 80% — are “market rate,” and in the neighborhoods chosen by the New York City Housing Authority.
“NYCHA was created to provide housing to low and moderate income New Yorkers, not to play Monopoly with financiers so they can build more high priced apartments in the city,” Mr. Thompson said, according to Hunter Walker. “Furthermore, this wrongheaded move comes at a time when more and more poor and working families are being priced out of the City.”
Thompson promised to make the mayor’s office directly responsible for appointments to the NYCHA board. “When I’m mayor, I will use my strong experience in the public and private sectors to lead the way on housing, not dodge accountability by hiding behind NYCHA’s bureaucracy,” said Mr. Thompson. “I will overhaul NYCHA’s board and make the Office of the Mayor responsible for appointing qualified board members that appreciate the true mission of NYCHA.”