Monday, March 11, 2013

Does Privatizing Public Housing Lands Make Sense?

New York City is considering leasing public housing land to private developers so they can construct market rate apartment buildings.  Most of the land in question is currently used as common space by the tenants of housing projects -- basketball courts, parking lots and outdoor plazas.  The dollars generated by the sales would be used to repair decades-old public housing buildings.  Not everyone is enthusiastic:

"So now you want to put in these huge buildings, block our view, take away the play areas that we have," [Aixa Torres] said. "And at the end of the day, segregate it."

Torres, the tenant association president, said the housing authority wants to demolish a baseball field and a parking lot in her complex to make room for the new apartments.

The baseball field is a spot where families like to picnic in the summer. And it's where the development's large Asian community likes to conduct daily tai chi exercises.

"I just think they're looking at the fact that this is waterfront property, and why should we have that view?" Torres said. "That's the way I feel."


Steve Clowney

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