De Blasio vs. Critics: Should NYCHA Lease Public Land to Private Developers?

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    New York is in a housing crisis, for both affordable and market rate units. So de Blasio’s plan to lease NYCHA land to developers in exchange for cash and more affordable and market rate apartments should appease everyone, right?

    Nope. Opponents argue that leasing public land to private developers short-changes the community. But with rising rates of homelessness and growing demand for more units, do the wants of the greater good outweigh the current use of public property?

    On Monday, De Blasio defended his plan, according to Capital New York. In the next several weeks, the city will announce two to four new NYCHA sites available for lease and call for developer proposals.

    What de Blasio Wants
    To “have more affordable housing for our people,” albeit by leasing open space in existing housing developments so that private companies can build up. De Blasio feels that the need for affordable units is worth the price of repurposing public land.

    What Opponents Want
    To keep public space public, and not for developers’ profit. Critics also argue that the playgrounds and parking spaces de Blasio wants to sell are vital to the quality of life of current residents.

    Five Facts

    • Under Bloomberg’s administration, plans for construction on NYCHA land called for 80 percent market rate units and 20 percent affordable, while de Blasio’s plan calls for a 50/50 split between market rate and affordable units.
    • NYCHA is currently seeking proposals to build 500 apartments at the Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene and the Van Dyke Houses in Brownsville, as well as a site in the Bronx.
    • Revenue from new market rate units will be used to make much-needed repairs in older projects, according to the plan.
    • The Next Generation NYCHA plan to build up NYCHA aims to build 7,500 total units over the next decade.
    • De Blasio has promised NYCHA residents the city will restore all amenities lost to new construction.

    Where do you stand? Lease the land and make more units? Or keep the land as it is and find another way to address the dearth of affordable apartments?

    De Blasio Defends Market Rate Housing on NYCHA Land [Capital NY]
    City to Build New Affordable Housing on NYCHA Land in Fort Greene and Brownsville [Brownstoner]
    Mayor Plans Thousands of New Apartments on NYCHA Land in Brooklyn [Brownstoner]

    What's Happening