Between 30-40 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) sites across the city are being considered for the agency's infill program — adding mixed-income developments to underused NYCHA sites, the agency's CEO, Shola Olatoye announced at a heated City Council hearing last night. At the moment, this particular program is moving forward at two sites - the Holmes Towers at 403 East 93rd Street on the Upper East Side, and at Wyckoff Gardens at 185 Nevins Street in Boerum Hill. But what the meeting revealed last night was the fact that while residents at both developments will have input on what the final new development might look like, the project will move forward — regardless of community opposition.
A typical new building at a NYCHA site will have 50 percent market rate units, and the other half will be affordable. Of these affordable units, 25 percent will be set aside for NYCHA residents to apply to. And the affordable units will be open to those who make about 60 percent of the area median income, which NYCHA estimated to be $46,600 for a family of three.
The major concern for residents however, that City Councilman Ritchie Torres, who heads the public housing committee, made clear to NYCHA officials was that residents have been mostly cut out of the process — yes they can provide opinions, but the development is moving forward anyway.
Residents who spoke at the meeting stressed that the agency should find alternative means for funding repairs at existing NYCHA buildings.
"How can the government find $4 billion to fund a Penn Station renovation but find no money for public housing?" Darnell Brown, a resident at Holmes Towers, pointedly asked the officials.