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Old Posted Jun 10, 2018, 11:38 PM
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Pedestrian Pedestrian is offline
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From Rats to Rainwater, a Tour of New York Public Housing

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By Howard Husock
June 8, 2018 6:42 p.m. ET

Last week the story broke that the New York City Housing Authority, by far the nation’s largest system of public housing, will be forced to operate under a federal monitor. The city also will be required to spend $1 billion on repairs and renovations.

Crisis has come to NYCHA-land, as New York magazine once called the city’s public housing system to underscore the sheer isolation of many of its large projects. This past winter, more than three-quarters of the housing authority’s 400,000 tenants, in 176,000 apartments, went without heat and hot water. Mandatory lead-paint inspections were not performed, and then falsely claimed to have been done. The chairwoman of NYCHA’s board resigned under fire. Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared an official state of emergency and went to visit the projects for himself.

Readers may not be surprised, given the terrible reputation of public housing. But for years, a few utopian believers have insisted that New York is different. Take “Public Housing That Worked,” a 2009 book by Nicholas Dagen Bloom, a professor at the New York Institute of Technology. “The New York story provides a fresh perspective on familiar stories of housing failure,” Mr. Bloom writes, “by showing that, rare as it may be, a housing authority dedicated to everyday management can maintain housing even under trying conditions.” He describes NYCHA as having “comparatively tidy grounds” and “well-maintained high-rise buildings.”

That would be news to tenants . . . .

Extricating government from this business may seem far-fetched. It should not be. A federal program called Rental Assistance Demonstration, developed by the Obama administration, allows private developers to take over public housing so long as they promise to keep the rent affordable for a negotiated period. New York could give tenants a buyout or limit their length of stay. (The average NYCHA resident has lived in public housing more than 17½ years.) Many projects sit on valuable real estate. The city could sell it and use the funds to support housing for those who truly have nowhere else to go, such as the low-income elderly or the disabled . . . .


https://www.wsj.com/articles/from-ra...&page=1&pos=12
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Old Posted Jun 11, 2018, 6:19 PM
floor23 floor23 is online now
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"Overnight, housing authorities, including NYCHA, began to be starved of funds, even as roofs leaked and elevators failed. New York might have realized revenue through commercial development—stores and offices—on project sites. But super-planner Robert Moses, in thrall to the “City Beautiful” ideal, had prohibited such development in the 1940s so as to provide residents with parking lots and green spaces."

Most important part of the whole article and it's not just a NYC problem. State and Local governments in the US refuse to incorporate commercial into their projects whether it be housing, transit, or parks. The green space at NYC public housing while nice (when first opened) ends up becoming another maintenance expense and considering how many housing projects they have, NYCHA just doesn't have the funding to maintain all of them. I bet the majority of tenants don't ever use the green space either making it a complete waste. My guess is parking probably doesn't generate much revenue either as tenants fight to keep parking free or way below market pricing. NYCHA tenants have better parking options than most market rate units in NYC.

Examples:

1. Many Tokyo Metro stations are like shopping centers with commercial spaces to help pay for the system.

2. Public Housing across Europe and Asia usually has some form of ground-floor commercial space. Its convenient for residents

3. I remember parks/plazas in Europe and Asia (not all cities but definitely more than the US) usually have vendors or restaurants located in them to help pay for the upkeep of the park.

Americans complain about how their urban infrastructure is falling apart but refuse to pay additional taxes and refuse to allow the private sector to capitalize on public space. We're capitalists in name only but in practice we're far from it.
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2018, 3:13 AM
CIA CIA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floor23 View Post
Most important part of the whole article and it's not just a NYC problem. State and Local governments in the US refuse to incorporate commercial into their projects whether it be housing, transit, or parks. The green space at NYC public housing while nice (when first opened) ends up becoming another maintenance expense and considering how many housing projects they have, NYCHA just doesn't have the funding to maintain all of them. I bet the majority of tenants don't ever use the green space either making it a complete waste. My guess is parking probably doesn't generate much revenue either as tenants fight to keep parking free or way below market pricing. NYCHA tenants have better parking options than most market rate units in NYC.

Examples:

1. Many Tokyo Metro stations are like shopping centers with commercial spaces to help pay for the system.

2. Public Housing across Europe and Asia usually has some form of ground-floor commercial space. Its convenient for residents

3. I remember parks/plazas in Europe and Asia (not all cities but definitely more than the US) usually have vendors or restaurants located in them to help pay for the upkeep of the park.
It's slowly changing. NYCHA is really stubborn though, but there are other areas in the U.S. that's embracing mixed-use and mixed-income affordable housing. The challenge is financing, local zoning, and federal rules, but I do see change.
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