Downtown Evictees Protest Relocation to Bronx


Tenants at 402-406 Albee Square in downtown Brooklyn object to city plans to move them to remote parts of Manhattan and the Bronx to make way for a park and underground parking lot, the Brooklyn Paper reports. Previously, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development promised to relocate them to “comparable housing,” after it acquired the property through eminent domain, said residents and housing activists. One resident said he was offered a new rental in the Tremont area of the Bronx — a 90-minute commute by train. Many residents are asking to be relocated to the Ingersoll and Walt Whitman houses in nearby Fort Greene, where there are reportedly 800 available units. The city allowed the building to fall into ruin over years, claim residents.
Downtown Evictees: City Booting Us From Brooklyn [Brooklyn Paper]
Downtown Tenants Claim Shoddy Treatment by HPD [Brownstoner]
Willoughby Square Park Plans Resuscitated? [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo by raulistic

20 Comment

  • Don’t take handouts and move yourself somewhere you want to live. Don’t see the big deal here. If you want to still live off public assistance, either NYCHA can accommodate you nearby or farther away.

  • Drrty

    I don’t get it, the article says …”Instead, many residents are asking for dibs on units at the nearby Ingersoll and Walt Whitman houses in Fort Greene, where there are ample available units — more than 800″

    Why can’t they get these units???

  • I’ve had suspicions that the city has plans to turn the Ingersoll and Walt Whitman projects into a Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town type development and this would seem to confirm that suspicion. I thought it was strange when all of the amenities on the other side of Myrtle were demolished (the laundromat, etc.) while, at the same time, the city did a bunch of nice landscaping work around the projects, (planting new trees, etc.). It seemed like someone was trying to drive out the current tenants while sprucing the place up for the new ones. I suppose trolleydodger has a point: if you’re on public assistance you don’t get to dictate the terms. Still, it seems kind of seedy to me.

  • I’ve had suspicions that the city has plans to turn the Ingersoll and Walt Whitman projects into a Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town type development and this would seem to confirm that suspicion. I thought it was strange when all of the amenities on the other side of Myrtle were demolished (the laundromat, etc.) while, at the same time, the city did a bunch of nice landscaping work around the projects, (planting new trees, etc.). It seemed like someone was trying to drive out the current tenants while sprucing the place up for the new ones. I suppose trolleydodger has a point: if you’re on public assistance you don’t get to dictate the terms. Still, it seems kind of seedy to me.

  • Every resident in downtown Brooklyn has taken a handout in one form or the other – whether it was the discounted, public money that financed the new condos and apts, the tax breaks the owners and developers get, or the mortgage deductions those whose finance their units get. The only difference is that the $$ value of what these residents receive is a pittance in comparison, while the scorn is massive.

  • Every resident in downtown Brooklyn has taken a handout in one form or the other – whether it was the discounted, public money that financed the new condos and apts, the tax breaks the owners and developers get, or the mortgage deductions those whose finance their units get. The only difference is that the $$ value of what these residents receive is a pittance in comparison, while the scorn is massive.

  • Luck, wrong. Public housing residents are not in a position to demand anything really. In fact, the city has the right to end the NYCHA at any time. They don’t because the voters choose to continue the programs and benefits. As for residents getting tax breaks, they are still investing and growing an area, same for businesses and no different from any municipal organ which use various incentives and sweeteners all the time.

    And no, the Ingersoll houses will remain projects for now. All the projects will even though tearing some down, selling the development rights and reinvesting in better designed public housing in mixed environments would be the smart move.

  • trolltoll

    The city is not “moving” anyone, anywhere. HPD is offering below-market apartments to some folks.

  • These stories always bring out comments from people who have never been without options or means, in their lives, and may as well be commenting on the options of nomads living in yurts in Siberia. You have no clue.

    Anyone poor and desperate enough to be living in this dump for so long is not able to just move themselves to where they want to live, “handout” or no handout. If they were, they wouldn’t be here. But they would like to be able to stay somewhere near where children are in school, where social services, or health services, houses of worship, and friends and family may be nearby. They didn’t do anything wrong, except be poor and live in a building that is going to be torn down. If local housing is available, they should be able to get it.

  • Montrose, most of our collective families started out poor. No matter how poor you are, you should still be in control of your destiny to a degree, and if you aren’t, then it’s hubris to make demands of your community. In this case, the city of New York will move the residents, but it may not be a perfect or even desirable fit. All we’re saying is you lose some of your selectivity by accepting public support.

    Nobody has an eternal right to live anywhere.

  • Be careful what you pray/wish for. You just might get it.

  • Be careful what you pray/wish for. You just might get it.

  • I went into my housing situation with a clear head and all the facts. If the facts that allow me to live where I live, I understand fully what that might entail.

    Nobody has a right to live in any one place. You pack up and start anew, like millions of people have done before, and will do after you.

    I’m sorry you took assistance to live in Place A, and now if you want to continue to obtain the assistance you have to move to Place B. You are welcome to rent or buy in Place A if you would like to remain there.

  • Typo, if the facts that allow me to live where I live now, change, then I’ll deal with them.

  • Okay, I might be missing something, but these people were paying rent to their landlord (irrespective of whether they were Section 8 or regular renters) prior to the the City “acquiring the property through emminent domain”. So what in that scenario makes them horrible, greedy people sucking at the teat of society because they don’t want to be relocated 90 minutes away? Why is it so inconceivable that they would 1) want to be relocated in the same neighborhood where they currently live or 2) would want to be relocated in an a neighboring area to where they currently or 3) would want to be located in the same borough where they currently live or 4) would like to be relocated less than one hour from where they currently live, since the relocation is a result of an act of law by the state and no fault of the tenants themselves? Me thinks you all are responding in this way simply because these folks are poor and brown, and therefore can’t possibly be deserving of any concern or sympathy.

  • Well that’s all well and good, trolleydodger, but the people did choose to rent at Point A. And they paid their money into Point A for many, many years, becoming neighbors and a neighborhood. Through no fault of their own, Point A is about to be landfill, and all they are asking is that they be moved somewhere nearby. They aren’t asking for a handout, nor are they asking to be put up in the Toren. They are begging to be put in the projects.

    Your problem with them seems to stem from them needed any kind of public support. Well, there will always be people in our society who need public support. Helping them is what a civilized society does, and I’d rather my tax dollars helped them than not. Many of these people are not lazy, not criminals, not anything except unable to make it. We, by the accident of birth, opportunities of life, some hard work, and the grace of God, are in better shape. Those opportunities and blessings are not given to everyone, but sometimes come in the shape of a subsidized or low rent apartment, enabling them to survive. Why deny them a bit of happiness or comfort?