On Tuesday, Magarita Lopez and Victor Gonzalez, two board members of the New York City Housing Authority briefed public housing tenants on Manhattan’s Lower East Side about the planNYCHA, the plan to preserve public housing. Amongest the many points they addressed are the following:
1. About 55,000 tenants who are living in underutilized apartments will be asked to move into smaller apartments. For example a mother whose had two children who have grown up and left who now lives in a three bedroom by herself will be asked to move to a studio or one-bedroom.
2. They will phase in rent increases for those who are paying ceiling rent so that everybody pays at least 30% of their income to rent. In the next five years my rent will probably be in the thousands. NYCHA is exploring the possibility of helping those who make high incomes transition out of public housing and assisting them with buying a home.
3. They will introduce such policies as:
* air rights selling property rights to private developers in exchange for the upkeep of certain public housing developments
* advertising on public housing buildings
* layered access security systems where scan cards are required for access
* encouraging residents to conserve energy and water
I am cautiously pessismistic about these policies because I think the first thing the agency needs to do with come up with a fundamental system on how they will provide incentives. For example a recent Daily News article spoke about how NYCHA has a tough time with coaxing people who live in apartments that are too large for them to move. However in any case it looks likely that my family will be moving out of the projects in less than five years. This is seen as a good thing from my perspective because sometimes people who live there just need a nudge in the ass to get moving.