Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

NYCHA

NYCHA

  • workshop2 1

    (photo: Your LIC)


    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has not been equitable across New York City. While some New Yorkers have been able to work from home, or leave the city temporarily to wait the pandemic out, our NYCHA family has been devastated with the astounding loss of life and by an economic collapse at a scale we have never experienced before. 

    We have seen many people speak out about how to help NYCHA recover from this pandemic. On behalf of the nearly 17,000 residents of four Western Queens public housing developments, the virus has been catastrophic for our

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  • nycha manhattan

    NYCHA in Manhattan (photo: NYCHA)


    The coronavirus pandemic has shone a stark and unflattering light on the inadequacy of the social safety net in our city and across this country. And nowhere is this failure more glaring than at the New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA.

    Due to COVID-19, we all must “shelter in place” in the safety of our homes, but for over half a million NYCHA residents, home is no safe harbor. Years of state and federal underfunding have left buildings with no hot water, toxic mold, lead paint, unhygienic conditions, and countless outstanding

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  • inves health dep

    A NYCHA tower looms over a city in crisis (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    In late April, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to deepen the city’s response to COVID-19 at NYCHA public housing. The plan includes distributing face coverings and gloves to all residents, enrolling all NYCHA senior buildings in the city’s food delivery program, and providing free tablets and internet service for 10,000 senior residents.

    It’s long been clear that

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  • maybdb arrival

    Could the reinvigoration of the New York economy come from public works? (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Somewhere around a million New Yorkers are out of jobs and billions in tax revenue has evaporated as New York City bears the brunt of possibly the worst disaster in its history. The coronavirus has been devastating the city’s people, their way of life, and their livelihoods. As elected officials and experts look to the future, when the pandemic eventually subsides, they must plot a path out of the crises that will remain.

    New Yorkers will need jobs, and

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  • 1

    Pizza Rat (Youtube); Dilapidated NYC Parks Bathroom, NYC Comptroller’s Office


    The tens of millions annual tourists who supercharged New York City’s economic growth during the past few decades looked past the low public hygiene standards in their pursuit of skyline views and Broadway shows. Public restrooms? Very few and mostly awful. Overcrowded sidewalks? We got ‘em! Millions of long-suffering visitors and residents have had to tolerate oozing garbage bags on city sidewalks, grimy subway stations, crowded playgrounds, gross bathrooms in city parks, and more. When a pizza-eating rat in

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  • mbdb housing pres dev

    Mayor de Blasio at a supportive housing site (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    As our great city faces its most challenging crisis in the past 100 years, it has revealed to all of us how the city has radically changed in the past few decades.

    The virus has now put a spotlight on the critical shortage of hospital beds and medical equipment like ventilators. In fact New York City ICU bed capacity ranks in the bottom quarter nationally. If you have lived in the city for over 40 years, as I have, you likely recall how many hospitals have

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  • myabdb

    Keeping people in their homes is of the essence, the author writes (photo Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office


    The federal response to the economic crisis just over a decade ago swiftly bailed out banks and other financial institutions, but left far too many struggling families in the lurch. It was too little, too late. This was devastatingly true for black families, whose home-ownership rates dropped from 50% to 42%, representing an enormous loss of generational wealth.

    We must respond differently this time to ensure that homeowners hold onto their homes and apartment building

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  • comm center marcy

    NYCHA is on the brink (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Despite significant attention from Mayor Bill de Blasio and some from Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York City Housing Authority, public housing home to more than 400,000 New Yorkers, continues to crumble. While both the mayor and governor, as well as many others, point to federal disinvestment in NYCHA, dissatisfied elected officials say that initial drafts of next fiscal year’s state and city budgets aren’t sufficiently addressing the problem.

    As they push for more funding to

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 88 -- 6 months, with NYCHA CEO Gregory Russ [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    rein russo mmSix months is the time the New York City Housing Authority has to develop a reorganization plan. New NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ headlined a Citizens Budget Commission event to discuss working with the

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  • may townhall residents

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio enters his seventh year in office, on the heels of a failed presidential bid and at a time when his political clout appears at its nadir, he faces many major challenges and big decisions ahead.

    2020, the next-to-last year of his second and final term, begins with a focus on public safety, including recent spikes in anti-Semitic hate crimes, murders, and byciclist fatalities, as well as how the city is adjusting to new state-mandated bail reforms that the mayor has

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  • groundbreaking gov twa

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    As 2019 comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of our “best” and most-read articles of the year. We have a lot of reporting that we’re proud of -- some of which was really well-read, some of which may not have received the attention it deserved. Gotham Gazette readership increased for the sixth straight year in 2019, and was up about 30% from 2018. Thank you to all those who have been reading, we appreciate it and enjoy doing what we do to bring you important local news with our

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  • hud nycha announcement

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    December 25, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Top 10 Stories of 2019 in New York Politics

    PodcastThe hosts break down the 10 biggest stories of 2019 in New York politics, from all-Democratic control in Albany to Mayor de Blasio's short-lived presidential campaign, from a federal monitor for NYCHA to a 'transformative' year at the MTA, Corey Johnson's quest to 'break

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  • aftermath superstorm oped

    (photo: NYCHA)


    Another Democratic presidential primary debate is now behind us, and once again not a single question has been asked about how our next President will address one of the federal government’s biggest failures of the last half-century – the neglect and divestment in our nation’s public housing.

    Candidates across the board are developing new and exciting progressive policies that have energized the Democratic electorate (including many around affordable housing). But this central issue of restoring public housing, once a

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  • 1 nycha fro

    Samuel N. Bennerson 2nd Playground could be a model (Google, 2019)


    New Yorkers have been building parks in the most unexpected places. Popular parks have risen over rotting piers on the waterfront; on an elevated and abandoned rail freight line; and even in the middle of busy traffic intersections in Times Square. Many skeptics doubted that anyone would want to sunbathe along the East River, eat a snack in the middle of Times Square, or walk on a rickety steel structure 30 feet above the streets. The skeptics were wrong. Millions have flocked to new spaces in

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  • nycha superstorm aftermath

    (photo: NYCHA)


    In his recent column, “Hidden in Plain Sight: Billions in Potential Revenue for NYCHA” (Dec. 2), one of the nation’s leading housing experts, Nicholas Dagen Bloom, writes in support of a study by the Regional Plan Association proposing to finance the repair and rehabilitation of NYCHA public housing properties by selling unbuilt-upon open space in those properties. Those air rights would be sold to real estate developers who

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  • eh density

    (East Harlem NYCHA superblocks possess massive amounts of unbuilt air and ground space, as illustrated in the HOUSING DENSITYshow currently on view at the Skyscraper Museum.)


    NYCHA developments full of high-rises seem massive from a distance, but on closer examination their visual bulk disguises a deeper truth: they are dominated by open space. What to do with all this unbuilt space has inspired competing and controversial plans for infill and redevelopment. A growing number of policy

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 80 -- 90%, The City's Initial Progress on 'NYCHA 2.0' - with Sean Campion of CBC [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    sean campion wtdpMayor de Blasio launched a new "NYCHA 2.0" plan in December 2018, with initiatives to help the struggling public housing authority bring in roughly $25 billion over the

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  • new nycha chair

    Chair Gregory Russ visiting a NYCHA complex (photo: @NYCHA)


    “These first few months of our work have revealed NYCHA as an organization fraught with serious problems in structure, culture, and direction, and perhaps even worse,” wrote Bart Schwartz, the new federal monitor of the city’s public housing authority, in his first progress report, released July 22.

    Three weeks later, this past Monday, Gregory Russ arrived in Manhattan for his first day of work as NYCHA’s new Chair and CEO, with an enormous task in front of him.

    NYCHA’s short- and long-term futures

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  • Alicia Glen

    Alicia Glen (photo: Paige Polk/Mayor's Office)


    This is part one of a two-part series on former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen's impact on the "built environment" of New York City. Find part two -- on economic development, transit, and more -- here.

    It’s the year 2026 in New York City. Hundreds of thousands of new units of rent-restricted apartments have been added to the city’s housing stock as the

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  • mansion tax

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In a city where flooding is the face of climate change, extreme heat is a silent but growing threat. Every year, extreme heat in New York City causes, on average, more than 450 emergency room visits and 150 hospital admissions, and results in the deaths of 115 New Yorkers from heat stroke and heat-related exacerbation of chronic health conditions. Older people are at the most risk.

    For the first time in human history, our planet has more people over 65 than children under five, and the world’s global population is

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  • mayor bdb carl

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Last week the federal NYCHA monitor issued his first quarterly report. It was a scathing indictment of the agency, describing “putrid liquid” spilling into a laundry room and rats scurrying through a 14-floor high garbage compactor. As one resident explained, “we are hostages in our own homes at night…due to rats that are the size of cats.”

    But as disturbing as these examples are, the most important finding was less graphic but ultimately more dangerous:  A systemic culture of failing to take

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  • cuomo bdb amazon

    Cuomo & de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo believes in action, rather than rhetoric, and rarely shies away from criticizing those who he believes fail to live up to their promises, including his fellow Democrats. He’s also appeared particularly irritated by the ascendent progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which has challenged him, unfairly he argues, and offers what he says are pie-in-the-sky talking points over the types of achievable results he’s delivered.

    Cuomo brought the

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  • gov cuomo comm

    Danny Barber, left, is the author; with Gov. Cuomo & others (photo: the Governor's office)


    I stood with Governor Cuomo last year when he showed how bad conditions in public housing have gotten after decades of federal neglect. With the governor’s leadership, NYCHA was allocated $250 million in last year’s state budget. While that money was held up due to the appointment of a federal monitor, the need for additional funds remains again this year.

    Major capital repairs are needed to keep residents safe and healthy in all five boroughs. Leaks, mold, pests, broken

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  • de Blasio NYCHA lead

    Mayor de Blasio & Kathryn Garcia, right (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Four months on the job, NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia remains optimistic and determined about the future of the New York City public housing authority, home to more than 400,000 New Yorkers and several major crises. Garcia, who was the city’s sanitation commissioner for about five years until taking leave to fill in as the head of NYCHA, appeared on

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  • kathryn garcia wbai 600

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    May 29, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: NYCHA's Future, with Interim CEO Kathryn Garcia

    kathryn garcia wbaiKathryn Garcia, the city's sanitation commissioner for most of Mayor Bill de Blasio's tenure, was recently named interim chair and CEO of NYCHA, tasked with steering the public housing authority through tumultuous times,

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