Op-Ed: East New York In Crisis As City Officials Sell NYCHA Housing To Questionable Private Developers Which May Lead To High Speed Gentrification and Displacement of Residents

Posted By NYC Newswire

by James Lewis Jr.

It looks like gentrification in East New York might happen faster than we thought. It was recently reported in Crains and The Real Deal that New York City officials are handing management of NYCHA over to private developers for $1.5 billion. Two of the main private developers in the deal, L & M Developers and The Hudson Companies, will be taking over management of Linden Houses and Boulevard Houses in East New York.

New York City officials are well aware of the history of racism and bias in rental and maintenance practices by some private developers that act as landlords, and there is no reason to think the same biases are not going to occur with private developers managing NYCHA properties. Bias practices have led to citywide gentrification, while leaving people of color struggling to find affordable housing.

While local elected officials in East New York have talked about being against gentrification, selling NYCHA to private developers strongly supports gentrification.  Private developers managing NYCHA developments leaves the door open to improper evictions, rejection of leases, displacement of residents, and selective lease approvals.

According to an article on 6sqft.com “The housing authority may also sell its unused air rights and/or accelerate a plan to allow developers to build market-rate apartments on underused land owned by the authority. According to Politico, the plan calls for a 70-30 split of market-rate to rent-regulated housing in private developments on public land.”

In the new residential buildings along the Elton St Corridor next to the Gateway Mall, which The Hudson Companies developed, and the Related Companies manages, there have been sewer backups inside of the buildings since the buildings opened. The question has to be asked, how were these private developers selected with Hudson currently having problems with their new development in East New York?

“I have personally suffered from multiple raw sewer backups in my restaurant in the past three years with the most recent one occurring only two months ago, resulting in almost $300,000 in lost revenue and repairs”, stated Andrew Walcott, owner of Fusion East Restaurant, which is located in one of the buildings in East New York that was developed by The Hudson Companies, and managed by the Related Companies.

Walcott added, “representatives of Hudson and Related continue to blame the tenants and refuse to accept adequate responsibility for poor maintenance policies regarding the new buildings they own and manage on Elton Street in East New York.  These issues have existed for years and are not exclusive to my business. What’s really sad is that I have been a member of Community Board 5 for twenty years and the Executive Members of Community Board 5 know in detail of the poor maintenance situation of the buildings on Elton Street. With that being the case, the Board should question how can Hudson be trusted to manage 6,000 aging public housing apartments when they can’t properly manage 600 relatively new apartments on the Elton Street corridor of East New York.”

I have to thank EastNewYork.com for giving me a platform to bring this information to the residents of East New York, while elected officials and Community Board 5 keep quiet on the issue. At the very least community leaders should be informing the residents that NYCHA is being sold to private developers and how it will impact their housing, now and in the future.  Keeping quiet is not the answer. Residents need to be informed.

I hear the excuses that there was nothing elected officials can do about it, the management of NYCHA has been bad for years, and so on. The fact is NYCHA residents will eventually see rent increases and displacement, while East New York in general will see gentrification 2.0 at warp speed. Maybe if the residents were able to participate in the conversation they could have assisted with coming up with an answer other than selling out to private developers.

Gentrification and displacement happened in Harlem, Bed Stuy, Bushwick, Red Hook, and I can go on and on. East New York and Brownsville were last but now it’s at our doorstep.  Prepare yourself by getting your credit right and saving your money. Many will have to leave but at least you now have the knowledge to know that gentrification is knocking at your door, NYCHA has been sold and your local leaders cannot and have not done anything about it. You must empower yourself.

Knowledge is power. Take this situation serious and share with your family and friends. Be prepared for what is coming.

I will try to find out more information and I will surely share with my fellow East New York residents. We’re in this thing together. Let’s be smart.

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38 thoughts on “Op-Ed: East New York In Crisis As City Officials Sell NYCHA Housing To Questionable Private Developers Which May Lead To High Speed Gentrification and Displacement of Residents

  1. Leslie Taylor Reply

    Gentrifications in ENY I saw it almost 7-years ago & too many didn’t see it. When I saw Caucasian and Asians residing around me I was prepared for the change.

    1. H. Darling Reply

      I agree with Ms. Taylor the writing has been on the wall for a very long time. This is not good for the ENY community. For Barron to know information two years in the making regarding this takeover by L&M Developers without bringing this to the community at large is deceptive. He had numerous occasions to inform his community of this development not now through an emergency town hall meeting.

  2. Ghost reaper Reply

    Wow I work at one of the developments that’s being sold nobody knows wat the workers are going through its alot goin on that ppl are not seeing

    1. Esther Reply

      Speak up, even if it is anonymous. Contact the NYTimes. I have been involved in a few housing authority development sales. The only way for to ensure that the residents get some of what they need, including but not limited to relocations monies, is to speak up about what is going on.

    2. Michael Jordans Reply

      If the media knew how the inside of those apartments looked they would have shut them down years ago.

  3. Ricky Ricardo Reply

    Where are all the other people going to live that are living in those buildings you cannot displace them just like that take the developers to court and fight for what’s right !!

  4. robert Reply

    so wait they gonna have to go to work to pay for their apartments like those evil gentrifiers who work hard for their money and willing to pay more than people on govt assistance? if that’s not free market democracy idk what is

    1. ray Reply

      not all people are on public assistance , . there re more working people in public housing then people on public assistance. know what your talking about , before you run your mouth..

  5. Jemma Hanson Reply

    I’m really not surprised, once they started to complete construction on building in my area, I thought maybe they would sell them and now you have confirmed my thoughts. New buildings are going up in every spot in East New York its suppose to be affordable housing but its housing for those that can afford the apartments.

      1. Deandre Reply

        Bills hit I worked for nycha most tenants have to work , if not they have to do community service hours. Welfare isn’t free you have to work.

      1. B Reply

        The History of public housing needs to be researched, In addition if you pay attention to life you would notice the great number of people parading towards the many areas of transportation each morning.

  6. Mrs Black Queen Reply

    I’ve also noticed the beauty supply story’s building is tilted and the ground is coming up. That land has been flagged as contaminated for years. Then all of a sudden these nice buildings appeared fast!!!! How did they build that community on that CONTAMINATED land so fast?????

  7. Rose Reply

    A very high amount of residents do work..dont count the disabled and the elderly. I worked for nycha and my sister works for NYCHA now… but its literally impossible for any one to not work in nyc right now… can afford to just survive off welfare like a long time ago.

  8. Michelle Robinson Reply

    I’ve lived in Harlem my whole life. And iin NYCHA housing almost 30years and when i seen these beautiful buildins come up all aro u nd i knew that we was being sold out because we can’t afford to live in none of these buildings in our own neighborhood… Its just a damn shame

  9. I live in a leaky HPD building Reply

    HPD and the Deblasio seem to like Ron Moelis & Donald Capoccia who always seem to be the preferred vendor all the time. Department of Investigations needs to look into this, as L&M Development has numerous complains all around the city, law suits and the shoddy construction they have left behind, the mold issues in their buildings, the scaffolding around their fairly new buildings is unacceptable. In addition, their C&C management continues to get HPD contracts? How? When you ask HPD how they vet out their property managers they refuse to tell you. https://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20171011/REAL_ESTATE/171019973/two-harlem-condo-boards-are-suing-l-m-development

  10. Me Reply

    Now people want to cry about gentrification which brings a cleaner environment, don’t cry about it, why couldn’t we take care of our own neighborhood Instead of having shitty and pissy hallways and garbage every damn where its not only up to the housing workers to keep a neighborhood clean its up to the tenants as well so don’t cry now WE dropped the ball in our own hood, low income neighborhoods are granted fundings ONLY if it will benefit the neighborhood the cleanliness things like that who wants to continue funding buildings that people treat like a pig stuy, we all know the saying don’t shit where you eat!

    1. Seabo Reply

      I agree. I get that there’s been tons of mismanagement throughout NYCHA but why is it so hard to keep hallways, stairwells, elevators and the overall areas clean? Why are people complaining now that the threat of gentrification is looming to clean up our mess? We should learn to keep things clean and neat and get out of a project mindset.

      As for all of East NY, we’re in danger! Now that we see elected officials not doing their jobs, vote them out! The fact that we have a new state park and houses being built all around Gateway Mall is enough for rich people to come in and take over. And if we sit around and do nothing, East NY as we know it will be gone.

  11. Reginald Bowman Reply

    My family is from since 1960.
    This article is a scare tactic, based on opinion and not fact. The author needs to get his facts straight. RAD/PACT conversions in NYCHA developments do not displace residents.

  12. Rafael Reply

    You are wrong you have young men ages from 18 to 40 years old getting high doing absol nothing and the The government is paying them to do nothing and How do you want these young men to get jobs when they can’t even pass the drug test is time for change supporting young men to do absolutely nothing they need to get a job

  13. Michael Jordans Reply

    East NY needs to change. It’s shit now and has been shit for a number of years.. what’s sad is that it’s going to take white people coming in to make it a better place when we should have done it ourselves.

  14. Chanel Reply

    We are going through the same problem in Atlanta GA. And it’s sad cause I’m a native from New York. My place of birth is Bronx NY.

  15. Rosetta Jenkins Reply

    How can this be allowed? This should be taken to court. My sister told me about 15 years ago or more that public housing was being privatized in Boston area. Didn’t think it could happen here. We gotta fight this. I was raised up in St. Nick in Harlem when they first opened in 1952 and my twin sis and I were 10 months old. I’lm be damned if I won’t fight.

  16. Mrs. Carmen Whichard-Millerr Reply

    As former President of Linen Houses 10 – 12 years ago. We had numerous Residents meetings informing the residents of regenification and NYCHA eventual plan to sell and Privatize Linden and Boulevard Houses. Our elected officials Councilman Charles Barron and Council of Presidents Mr. Bowman all came to the meetings warning residents want was to come and NYCHA under handed plans to eventually try to sell and go private. We were warned by them not to sign up for section 8 that NYCHA was offering because it would open the door to be able to privatize. The residents had poor attendance and some that did come joined section 8 thinking they had a better opportunity to move which eventually didnt happen for many.

    I still have my letter to this date from former councilman Charles Barron advising NYCHA residents not join section 8 and NYCHA future plans. Lets take responsibility for our lack of attendance to meetings when important business is discussed to help us be informed. Now we stand faulting others when we are at fault.

    There is power in large numbers. We need to attend our Resident Association meetings.

    1. Kamal Smith Reply

      Mrs. Carmen, all due respect to you but the fact is Charles Barron sure knows how to get the word out to the people when he wants to so having a meeting with a few tenants is not real. This is a man who has a big mouth and he marches when he wants something. He should have been marching for this. NYCHA housing is very important to the people. You know as well as anybody that tenant meetings and community board meetings are only for the few people who turn out and most of them are political. If he wanted to get this important information to the people then he should have done one of his marches. It obviously wasn’t that important to him. I was at a town hall that he put together after his silence was exposed and he mentioned that he would shut down city hall. Well it;s too late. That;s what he should have done years ago. So trying to defend the Barrons is not going to work this time. NYCHA is being sold on their watch and that’s a fact.

  17. Craig smith Reply

    We voted for them and they still kick us in the (A) the Democratic party the mayor, governor and Black sell out. Elected officials

  18. Michael Rodriguez Reply

    I think it’s a great idea to clean up the neighborhood, East NY and Brownsville. It’s about time that other people move in the area and mix it up a little. These neighborhoods are so ghetto and disgusting. You smell weed and see a lot of the young crowds not doing anything for themselves and living off the government. We need to improve the school ratings, and cut off the mindset that the government should be supporting lazy individuals who don’t do anything for themselves. Gentrification is NOT always a negative movement.

  19. ED Diaz Reply

    I agree with Michael Rodriguez; How else new generations will improve. How can you expect to keep a neighborhood like Battery Park City or any other neighbor hood n Manhattan look the same way for 60 years.. common. I lived in different parts of Manhattan since before 9/11 in the financial district, then Mid town 57th and 7th ave, Hell’s Kitchen, Battery park City by 9/11. After a long International custody and divorce battle to fifth to get my kids back from their father who kidnapped to another country I wipe out all my assets, I needed living in a Shelter but I never stop working I continue working and I got a section 8 voucher I got out of the shelter system and now I am thinking to move back to one of my old neighborhoods, I just hope this gentrification moves quickly because I can’t stand living in a building when you walk one block to the right is getho and disgusting dirty and people drug in the streets. I think everyone deserves what they pay for. People who live through the system they get lazy and don’t want to work to get out of the system. Manhattan is one of the biggest attraction of the world Exactly for the mixed of races and the vibration the city have. But not the disgusting dirt and abuse people are doing now days using the side walks for putting tend and live there. The whole world looks at us. Every big city; London, Paris, NYC are evolving everything changes new generations want to move to the city, How else is the city recuperate of all the lost with Covid-9 ? All of the people in all the cities in the world for centuries immigration to the north of every continent, from the south to the north. Now, areas ENY need to be clean I just moved here one year a go for the subsidiary the city gave me. But I can’t wait to move back to another neighborhood. All these housing projects I have it across my street up north to 106 st and gon on and on, I don’t even know ENY very well but I see a lot of Housing developing old building in bad shape. They are so disgusting dirty and scary to walk alone at night; you cannot even walk after 7 pm across the FDR and 101 ST to walk by the water, because it looks like someone is going to mug you; you see these group of young adults smoking weed on the streets they don’t care they even pass the weed to each other. You don’t see that in the financial district, or Battery Park or Tribeca, or West Chelsea, or UWS. The problem is bigger, these new generation of kids they are just mugging people to get their wallets to buy more drugs. They assault even kill innocent residents in the neighborhood. You bet that ENY needs Gentrification, please yes welcome. Do you see the problem on these future generation all their ambitions is to get in SSI, Medicaid, no income, get cash assistance and vouchers. Don’t you see how all young generations of young girls that their parent raised them in the shelter system all they so is how to get all you can from the system everything is free. Then young girls instead of thinking going to college they get pregonan to get their babies when they are not even born in the 6 month pregnancy they already are in Medicaid, food stamps, the baby has not even born and is already their future is being fixed not to work and live through the system since before they are born. I have been a board of director in Houston, Texas where I live many years I know what I am talking about. I know NYC since the 70’s I am old enough to know the differences of NY from 60 years a go when everything was free. We are living in another world and if you love the city you need to evolve. I am all pro Gentrification movement.

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