Calling for Robust Community Engagement on NYCHA’s Proposed Infill Development Plan

Brad Hoylman

February 21, 2013

On February 20, I joined Manhattan Community Board 3, Borough President Scott Stringer, New York City Councilmember Margaret Chin and other local elected officials in sending a letter to Mayor Bloomberg and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John Rhea calling for greater transparency and community engagement in the City’s proposed infill development plan.  As you may know, the City has proposed leasing NYCHA-owned land on eight public housing developments to private developers so that they may build private residential housing with modest affordable housing components.  Under the current proposal, the revenue collected from these leases would go towards meeting capital obligations at public housing developments across the City.  

I firmly believe that any leasing or disposition of NYCHA land, which would significantly impact thousands of NYCHA residents, should not proceed without robust community engagement.  Many NYCHA residents have expressed concern that they have not been briefed on the proposal and that little or no information has been provided to them.  In our letter, we urged NYCHA to publicly disclose all plans and studies related to this proposal, to formally collect feedback from the relevant community boards, tenant leaders, community based organizations, and elected officials, and to withhold all related Requests for Proposals until this community dialogue can occur.