The Epoch Times:
Tucked inside New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s sweeping affordable housing proposal is an echo of an idea from the Michael Bloomberg era: to use vacant public housing property to build new housing units.
Last year, Bloomberg’s plan to lease out New York City Housing Authority land and allow developers to build market-rate apartment buildings on it stalled after low-income residents of the projects revolted. Now, after condemning his predecessor’s plan, de Blasio also wants to use that land for development, albeit of a different kind — to build affordable housing units, not luxury ones, and possibly a few supermarkets and retail stores.
Bloomberg wanted to build on vacant space currently occupied by basketball courts, parking lots and outdoor plazas. It’s unclear which vacant space de Blasio would focus on. The mayor’s office stressed that any proposals would focus on improving residents’ quality of life.
“This is a community process that’s going to center around the needs of NYCHA residents,” Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for the mayor’s office, said in an emailed statement. “We have a lot of listening and engaging with NYCHA residents ahead of us — they’ll be the ones identifying priorities and articulating how they want to proceed.”
De Blasio’s housing plan states the city will work with the Housing Authority and residents in coming months to assess the potential “for underused NYCHA land and development rights to benefit existing residents, increase affordable housing, produce local retail, and community facilities.”