(Resident) Paul Wilcox, September 5, 2023


Essence Development and Related Companies say that when they take over Fulton and Elliot Chelsea Houses the tenants will have new upgraded apartments and the same rights they have now. The developers don’t have one example where privatizing or demolishing buildings kept tenant rights, or bettered living conditions. This is because there is none.

Demolition means many NYCHA tenants don’t come back

The Legal Aid Society warns that the plan to completely demolish all buildings on the Fulton and Elliot-Chelsea campuses, replace them, and build thousands of market rate units would “lead to permanent displacement of resident families.”  The lawyer group is so concerned that it is demanding that NYCHA withdraw its request to demolish. 

Public housing tenants are most likely to be permanently replaced when their homes have been demolished before they are replaced. Chicago’s Cabrini-Green Houses was completely demolished in the 1990s. Despite promises, only 20% of the original tenants ever returned. When public housing complexes were torn down in New Orleans the tenants didn’t return. 

Tenants ALWAYS loose rights when they are moved from public housingSection 9 to private management Section 8. 

Under public housing’s Section 9 tenants have clearly defined rights: The right to organize, to have access to contracts and employment. They pay only 30% of income to rent. They can add family members to lease. 

Under private management’s Section 8 these rights are taken away. The Section 8 voucher is not transferable. Tenants may not able to change apartments or to add new family members to leases. They may not be given the same size apartments they have now. The subsidy may last only a few years. 

The National Housing Law Projects reports that new private managers illegally interfere with tenants’ ability to organize, re-screen tenants for readmission and change the standards so many in public housing don’t qualify, and illegally evict so that real estate managers don’t have to have to keep as many units below market value. 

The Government Accounting Office found that that 57% of newly privatized Section 8 tenants had rent increases beyond the 30%. In Ocean Bay, the first NYC NYCHA campus to be privatized, evictions increased so much that there were double those in the next NYCHA campus.

There is still time to stop this:

Say no to NYCHA, Essence & Related’s Plan!


Money for public housing upgrades and repairs!