Shola Olatoye, the chairwoman and chief executive officer of the New York City Housing Authority under Mayor Bill de Blasio, said today that partnerships with private real estate interests may be the future for the cash-strapped agency.
Speaking at a hearing of the City Council’s Committee on Public Housing, Ms. Olatoye indicated that the housing authority could look to selling stakes in its 2,563 buildings across the city in order to fill its infamous budget deficits, in the absence of federal funding streams. She said a recent deal in which the housing authority formed a limited liability company with two private developers to co-own and manage six of its non-project properties in order to qualify for $465 million in loans and tax abatements could prove to be a model for arrangements going forward—as could the ongoing programs of rezonings and monetary incentives the city has used to encourage builders to construct below market-cost apartments.
“We don’t know what the future holds. But I think it would be irresponsible for us to not take advantage of tools that, frankly this city has utilized and pioneered to create thousands of affordable housing units,” she said.