By George Capsis
Last month WestView ran a long article about the city inviting real estate developers to bid on building brand new apartment buildings on the NYCHAFulton House campus between 16 and 19th street and 9th Avenue and letting them rent out 70% of the apartments to people willing to pay market rate but offering 30% of the apartments to NYCHA tenants who are subsidies by the government and only pay 30% of their income for rent.
This is something that came out of the O Bahma administration and it addresses the persistent problem that public housing inevitable decays faster than the government can find money to repair it and the leaking, heat deprived and vermin infested buildings inevitable have to be demolished as simple unlivable.
It is reasoned however that a private developer with 70% of his tenants paying market rate rents will have to keep ALL the apartments and public spaces up to competitive standards if he wants to keep his building fully rented and profitable and hence his 30 percent of NYCHA tenants will enjoy the same high standards of maintenance.
Fulton Housing and the adjoining Chelsea Housing are, fortunately, caught between the High Line and Meat Packing district’s exploding development – now both “number one – HEY THAT SOUNDS GOOD tourist destinations so it is not too surprising that a “poor” NYCHA tenant offered his or her apartment to Airbnb for a modest $95 a night but unfortunately the tourist tenant complained and it made the Times.
The Times asked the NYCHA press person, Barbara Brancaccio who cut me off in a conference call last week in the belief I suppose that her job was to conceal the sordid mess that NYCHA is and according to the Times Ms. Broncaccio said “NYCHA is aware of this situation and is investigating the matter”.
I like the idea of having 30% of the tenants in a building in effect on the public payroll but I think their jobs should have something to do with the building.
In the old days the “Super” got a free apartment in the basement as part of his salary so in the future NYCHA SHARE buildings we might have an electrician and his family and a plumber and a carpenter and a painter and their families and all of maintenance services under one roof and just an elevator ride away.
Wait, this is a an interdependent community, this a neighborhood of equals.