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HOMELESS & HOUSING MEETING RECAP TUESDAY, JULY 4, 2023

(MSCC) Sharon Jasprizza, Posted: August 31, 2023

SUMMARY

Vittoria Fariello, District Leader in Lower Manhattan, 5 World Trade Center (5WTC), seeking an appropriation bill from the Federal Government to increase the affordability at 5WTC.  Miguel Acevedo, Fulton House Tenant Association: NYCHA’s $1.5 billion plan to REPLACE Fulton Houses and Elliott-Chelsea Houses in Manhattan with new high-rise apartments. Rob Robinson, Housing Advocate, Partners for Dignity and Rights, we need to understand the developers are after the land, and thus it’s necessary to understand the contract with the developers’ relationship to the land. Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9: Section 9, traditional Section 8 and Section Project-Based Voucher (PBVP) differences, HUD rights and responsibilities,  RAD/PACT takeover of public housing, demands for national solutions for public housing. Manny Martinez, Chair of the Queens South Citywide Council of Presidents (CCOP): The Myth of the Path Back to Public Housing, the Myth of Cancelling Contracts, the Myth of Return

CHAIR: John Mudd

POLICY MEETING UPDATES

There was no 8.30 AM Policy Meeting today due to the 4th July holiday.

JUNE HIGHLIGHTS

  • On Monday, June 12, 2023, MSCC and the Midtown Community Court (MCC) held a series of workshops and discussions for 68 students from Avenues High School studying socioeconomic inequality in NYC. The workshops centered on the role the Justice System plays, the work in the MSCC Urban Farm which is in the MCC’s courtyard, outreach work, and growing fresh food for people without access to fresh food
  • During the month MSCC joined with Saving Section 9 at June meetings and rallies to protect public housing in New York and to work on solutions to stop the takeover of NYCHA by private developers

SPECIAL INTRODUCTION(S) AND OR UPDATES: 

Tatyana Turner, NYCHA Reporter for City Limits News, tatyana@citylimits.org

  • City Limits is concerned about housing and focuses on residents and rights

Melanie Forman, Director of OnRamps Program, Fountain House, mforman@fountainhouse.org

  • Fountain House is a mental health organization in Hell’s Kitchen at 47th and 9th 
  • The process of community building is therapy
  • The OnRamps Program addresses the intersection of homelessness and mental illness
  • The recharge station (blue food truck kiosk) is at on 45th and Broadway in Times Square and serves coffee, and food and provides counseling and services for those In need
  • Partners include Midtown Community Court and Breaking Ground for benefits and housing services

Vittoria Fariello, District Leader in Lower Manhattan, 5 World Trade Center (5WTC), vittoria@vittorianyc.com 

  • Fighting for affordable housing and housing as a right for many years, and concerned about Sections 8 and 9 
  • Currently fighting for 5 WTC in Lower Manhattan to make it a fully affordable building. It is the last site to be developed at the World Trade Site. In 2019 a Request for Proposal (RFP) was put out by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) for a residential building. A plan of proposal was accepted from Silverstein Properties, Brookfield Properties, Omni New York, and Dabar Development Partners. One of the proposals was for 25% affordability, However the community has been advocating for 20 years since 9/11 for a fully affordable building. Hence 5WTC coalition was formed to fight for fully affordable. There was a move to 30 % but it cut out the lowest income range
  • Elected officials are supporting the coalition. The last approval needed is from the Public Authority Control Board. The coalition moved the vote from June to a later date in order to find funding to make 5WTC more affordable 
  • The Coalition is meeting with HUD, Thursday, July 6, as the LMDC has funding ($30 million) left over from 9/11 funding and has refused to put it towards affordable housing. However, this may change at this meeting
  • The Coalition is seeking an appropriation bill from the Federal Government to increase the affordability at 5WTC
  • Lower Manhattan has lost more affordable housing than any other area in the state

ACTIONS

  • Vittoria Fariello, District Leader in Lower Manhattan, 5 World Trade Center (5WTC), will update and forward a letter to pressure the Governor, Kathy Hochul to John Mudd
  • Vittoria Fariello, District Leader in Lower Manhattan, 5 World Trade Center (5WTC), will talk with John Mudd, Ramona, and SaveSection9. Please email vittoria@vittorianyc.com for further updates and your support

CHATBOX

  • Rob Robinson, Vittoria if you are engaging HUD you should reach out to the Region 2 (NY,NJ) director Alicka Ampry- Samuel. She is new to the job, and usually, a person in that position wants to prove themselves. The federal government has a history of promising one-for-one replacement and not fulfilling the promise. See hope six in the 1990s. See post-Katrina New Orleans

NYCHA’s $1.5 billion plan to REPLACE Fulton Houses and Elliott-Chelsea Houses in Manhattan with new high-rise apartments

Miguel Acevedo, President Fulton Houses Tenant Association 

  • The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA or the Authority), the most significant public housing authority in the nation, was created in 1935 and is home to 1 in 17 New Yorkers
  • The federal government has not provided money for capital improvements for public housing for decades
  • President Obama introduced a private partnership program called the Section 8 Voucher Program 
  • HUD refuses to find the money for public housing 
  • Chicago, New Orleans, and New Jersey have removed public housing. Tenants were displaced and never returned
  • The difference in New York will be that at Fulton Houses, 95% of people will not be displaced, and the other 5% will be relocated within Fulton Houses, i.e. 35 families will be relocated but will stay in Chelsea. They will eventually move into a new building with many amenities. This building will still be a public building
  • A public election in early spring, 2023 was held where everyone over 18 could vote for the NYCHA proposals. 35 public meetings were held, and leaflets in all languages were placed on every doorknob. 30% of residents came out to vote. Residents voted for the redevelopment at Chelsea-Elliot and Fulton

The Following notes are from the article titled “To Improve Public Housing, New York City Moves to Tear It Down” by Mihir Zaveri, New York Times, June 20, 2023

  • Miguel Acevedo who has lived in the development since the 1960s, supports the NYCHA the $1.5 billion plan to tear down the Fulton Houses and Elliott-Chelsea Houses in Manhattan and replace them with new high-rise apartments for the residents who live there after it became clear that replacing the deteriorating buildings would cost about as much as rehabilitating them
  • It would be only the third tear-down in the agency’s nearly 90-year history and the first time new, mixed-income buildings would be built on NYCHA land. City officials said they hope to replicate the plan elsewhere as conditions in public housing worsen
  • “You’ve never heard of brand new public housing,” said Miguel Acevedo, president of the tenant association at the Fulton Houses who has lived in the development since the 1960s and supports the plan. “It just doesn’t exist. To create this for the next generation is unbelievable.”
  • Many developers have eyed the open spaces on NYCHA campuses, which are scattered throughout the boroughs, as prime spots for new development, even as similar pushes have generated opposition
  • The idea that demolition is viable reflects the severity of the conditions in the developments, where residents regularly encounter leaks, mold, broken elevators, and heating problems. NYCHA estimates it needs to do about $40 billion worth of repairs across the system
  • The construction at Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea will be handled by two private developers, Essence Development and the real estate giant Related Companies, whom tenant leaders and NYCHA chose in December 2021. The project is part of NYCHA’s contentious push to place more developments under private management, allowing the agency to tap into a special source of federal funds and borrow money for upgrades
  • The developers and NYCHA said they felt confident about moving forward at Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea after residents who responded to a weekslong survey indicated they preferred the demolition and rebuild option over rehabilitation. Roughly 30 percent of eligible residents, or approximately 950 people, responded to the survey, and about 60 percent of those opted for demolition
  • The project must go through a lengthy land-use review process, which is slated to begin next year, and must ultimately be approved by City Council. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development must also give its approval, though NYCHA officials said they were optimistic
  • Developers said they would build most of the new NYCHA buildings first so most residents could move in before their old homes were torn down. The construction is expected to be finished in six years

DISCUSSION

  • John Mudd, MSCC, asked about the validity of the vote when only 30% of residents voted, and the lease 
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, responded that on the day of the meeting and protest by NYCHA residents and coalitions, less than 5% of people in New York voted for the Mayor of New York
  • Layla Law-Gisiko, President of the City Club of New York, laylademay@gmail.com, asked about the impacts of the demolition on the built environment, the outcomes such as basketball courts, supermarkets and more
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, responded that the building at 401 West 19th (currently six stories) will be removed, and replaced with an 11-story building built
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, outlined the relocation process of families and the payment of location costs by developers. Fulton Houses, which will continue to be public housing, will have a supermarket, community center, health center, green rooftops, basketball court, and washer/dryer.  Tenants will continue to receive the rights as they had under Section 9 with Section 8. There are currently 11 Fulton Houses (some are small, and some are one building), and they will be consolidated into 3. The vacant land no longer occupied by public housing will be 5 mixed-use buildings with 875 affordable housing and 2000 plus market-rate apartments. The AMI is to be discussed to define ‘affordable’. At Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea, more than 2,000 public housing apartments would be replaced. The new apartments would have dishwashers, washers and dryers, and access to rooftop terraces. The plan also calls for the construction of new retail and commercial
  • Layla Law-Gisiko, President of the City Club of New York, asked about the ownership of the buildings and the process to decouple if the business model does not work
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, the five new buildings will be owned by Related Corp and SE Development and have the obligation to maintain the buildings. NYCHA can remove Related Corp and SE at any time if NYCHA feels that the business model is not working
  • Vittoria Fariello, District Leader in Lower Manhattan, 5 World Trade Center (5WTC), asked if there was any chance to increase the number of affordable housing units, Section 8 and the land leases
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association is negotiating to increase it back to the original proposal of 50:50 to increase more affordable housing. Section 8 vouchers were created for private investment in public housing. NYCHA owns the land
  • Roberta Gelb, Community member, Roberta.gelb345@gmail.com, asked for clarification about the relocation of tenants while the redevelopment is happening
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, said tenants will be replaced in Chelsea in other NYCHA units during the developments and raised concerns about the impacts on the environment
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, the developers must do an impact study; communities have the opportunity to voice concerns under the UILER process 
  • John Mudd, MSCC, asked about ownership of the buildings and why a vote can happen when things are still being determined
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, a 99-year lease is not ownership, and the buildings are returned to NYCHA after the lease ends. The vote was for the redevelopment
  • Layla Law-Gisiko, President of the City Club of New York, what commitment is in the developer’s agreement to provide maintenance? 
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, noted that when management is done by private developers, then housing is not public housing
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, this agreement is between HUD, the developer, and NYCHA. Nothing has been signed off unless there is a guarantee that the developments remain as public housing 
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, referred to questions in the chatbox: what was the breakdown of the 30% of participants who voted
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, in the next few weeks, the breakdown will be done. A NFP did the counting of the ballots
  • Susan Kenney, NYCHA resident, asked about the door-to-door information and how people’s belongings will be moved to new premises
  • Layla Law-Gisiko, President of the City Club of New York, asked about the timeline for the approval process and certification
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, HUD, NYCHA, and the developer will be developing the guidelines and restrictions. The community boards will be part of the ULER process. It has been sent to City Planning, by September 1 when Related takes over the ULER process takes over. On September 1, Related starts the ULER process on the building on 19th Street and starts the MEANWHILE Plan (managing under Section 8 the asbestos, mold, and security cameras, etc
  • Allen Oster, MSCC, refers to comments in the chat about people having to leave their apartments. Will people move into similar apartments, and will people be in the same community, some are saying people have never been able to return to the same community
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, referred to programs such as HOPE 6 and Section 18. Section 18 is used when NYCHA is failing and apartments are demolished. The blatant example was in Chicago where 80% of people were not moved back to their community. The right to return is not always upheld. Daniel Sherard, in Chicago, is the mastermind of the privatization of public housing. Daniel told people to find their apartments and they would be moved back when the development was finished
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, noted the difference in New York and said the 5% of people who need to move out of public housing will stay in the Chelsea area and move back in two years. 95% of people will be staying where they are while the development is happening
  • Allen Oster, MSCC, asked how people will be protected and whether there were other options or ways to accomplish other than this proposal
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, said the 5% of people who need to move out of public housing will not leave the Chelsea area
  • Roberta Gelb, Community Member, Roberta.gelb345@gmail.com, asked about the maintenance contract
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, spoke about the discussions before COVID – 19 and after regarding the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) programs, which are central to NYCHA’s strategy to renovate and preserve public housing. Working groups involving officials, NFPs, legal aid and community groups were involved in these discussions for more than two and half years. The residents chose Related to take over the maintenance
  • Manny Martinez, Chair of the Queens South Citywide Council of Presidents (CCOP), raises concerns: 

1. The 5% of the residents will be displaced 

2. Section 8 Is not public housing or Project-Based Voucher Program Section 8 (PBVP). PBVP is different from Traditional Section 8 as the qualification process is different, thus the 95% moving in will be reduced because Related uses their qualification process

3. There is an updated RAD, where RAD and section 18 are combined and become part of the deal as the developers are profit driven. E.g. under Section 9, the income limit threshold is at 120% of the AMI, whereas under Section 8 its 80%. When the conversion happens, people will lose their subsidy because the 40% difference is huge. HUD does allow people going through this conversion to allow public housing residents to pay 30% in perpetuity but if the household leaves, the following household goes back to the 80%, if they max this out, the subsidy is lost, and in six months the apartment goes to market rent

4. Section 8 is being mixed with market-rate apartments such as what happened in Hopewell in Virginia, where developers violated the Fair Housing Act to evict people because they wanted properties

5. NYCHA is not public housing. It is an entity that contracts with HUD to distribute Section 9 and manage the capital work and operations. This changes with Section 8, where the developer is in charge of subsides and makes the decision to fix issues or make cuts in operations because of profit 

6. Across from Chelsea is World Academy School for wealthy people. This happened after the change which indicates that the gentrification strategy process was planned

  • John Mudd, MSCC, referred to the gentrification process also
  • Vittoria Fariello, District Leader in Lower Manhattan, 5 World Trade Center (5WTC), referred to HOPE 
  • Rob Robinson, Housing Advocate, Partners for Dignity and Rights, we need to understand the relationship of the contract to the land, developers are after the land, and thus it’s necessary to understand the contract with the developers’ relationship to the land. Too many stories where people are displaced there is no 1 for 1 placement as promised

Ramona Ferreyra, Save Section 9: Section 9, traditional Section 8 and Section Project-Based Voucher (PBVP) differences, HUD rights and responsibilities,  RAD/PACT takeover of public housing, demands for national solutions for public housing

  • Only Section 9 is public housing, and thus other programs cannot be called public housing
  • The survey was not presented as a decision-making process; It was perceived to be a survey to see where people stood and numbers have yet to be released. We need clarity on the survey results. There are two developments, two tenant associations, and two bodies of residents, and hence should be treated independently. They should be allowed to. Each resident, according to Section 9 rights has the right to participate end make decisions. This is not happening.
  • The myth that contracts can be canceled is a myth. In numerous states where a lease and contract have been issued, a true path back to public housing is nowhere in the RAD and PACT process. There is no true process or system in place to turn around. Many people, after going through the process of PACT and RAD, are begging to go back to public housing after an average of 5 years of being under PACT and RAD. Save Section 9 has a path back to public housing and is one of the national solutions it is pursuing
  • Project-Based Voucher Program Section 8 is very different from traditional Section 8. Project-Based Voucher Program Section 8 is locked to the apartment. If a tenant wants a traditional Section 8 Voucher after privatization happens, they go on a list and wait until a traditional Section 8 Voucher becomes available. At the moment, in New York, there are none available 
  • Save Section 9 has asked to educate tenants about the privatization and has not been able to. Thus it is difficult for tenants to understand the options
  • Options for public housing are limited in New York. Affordable housing is not available for the elderly, disabled and retired. Tenants under the Project-Based Voucher Program Section 8 usually see their rent increase by 40%, as amenities fees must be paid. Developers raised the rent through amenity fees e.g., yard maintenance, pipe damage, etc

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH

July 20, 2023 The City published “Dramatic Demolition Plan Arrives Alongside Big Spike in NYCHA’s Cost Estimate for Fixes” Estimates to replace or upgrade all public housing developments jump from $45 billion to $78 billion even as the number of apartments drops from 176,000 to 161,000.BY GREG B. SMITH  GSMITH@THECITY.NYC JUL 14, ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ASAR JOHN

  1. The Fulton Houses in Chelsea is one of the complexes NYCHA proposes demolishing and rebuilding
  2. Early Wednesday morning, NYCHA management released an analysis that claimed the cost to fix public housing in New York City had jumped from $45 billion to $78 billion in just five years — even as the number of apartments they manage had dropped.
  3. Several hours later, at their annual meeting, held at Stuyvesant High School, leaders trumpeted the most dramatic approach the authority has put forth in years to try and turn things around: a proposal to demolish and rebuild several Manhattan developments.
  4. The revised cost estimate and the discussion of actually demolishing public housing in New York City — something NYCHA has deliberately avoided for decades — represents a potential turning point for the nation’s most significant public housing authority and its more than 400,000 tenants.
  5. The new cost estimate came via NYCHA’s latest “physical needs assessment,” an analysis NYCHA performs only once every five years.
  6. The 2017 estimate of $45.3 billion was based on 176,000 apartments. But since then, NYCHA has turned over thousands of its public housing units to private managers under a federal program known as Rental Assistance Demonstration, or RAD.
  7. The new $78.3 billion estimate applies to 161,000 apartments that are still managed by NYCHA — so that 73% increase in cost comes despite an 8% decrease in NYCHA’s housing stock.
  8. NYCHA officials mostly blamed the higher costs on escalating construction expenses, but also noted the accelerated deterioration of some developments and a broader scope of upgrades triggered by a 2019 agreement with federal housing officials to remedy squalid living conditions.
  9. Authority Chief Executive Officer Lisa Bova-Hiatt, who  was made permanent NYCHA CEO last week after serving in an interim role since last fall, said the assessment “demonstrates the tremendous magnitude and scale of the needs and challenges of NYCHA following decades of disinvestment in public housing.”
  10. Jamie Rubin, a former top aide to ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was appointed chair of NYCHA’s board last week, promised to work with Bova-Hiatt “to explore all viable options that will help reduce this gap and put the authority on a better trajectory for the long term.”
  11. Some of those options emerged at their annual meeting Wednesday as NYCHA’s newly installed leaders presented their latest strategies to tackle the daunting list of much-needed upgrades.
  12. That included continued expansion of a tactic they’ve employed over the last few years of turning over NYCHA apartments to private managers under NYCHA’s version of RAD, called Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT). NYCHA expects to place another 20,000 apartments into PACT through next year.
  13. And NYCHA managers also vowed to begin employing another new approach: fixing up another 20,000 units via the newly formed Public Housing Preservation Trust that will float bonds to fund big-ticket repairs.
  14. But the one proposal that stood out has already triggered backlash: a plan first revealed last month to demolish and replace three housing developments that sit on high-value property in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea
  15. NYCHA has proposed putting the Fulton, Chelsea and Elliott Houses in Manhattan into RAD and having two private real estate firms, the Related Companies and Essence Development, demolish all 2,000 apartments and replace them with new buildings for public housing residents
  16. In exchange, the developers would also build 2,500 market-rate and 900 income-restricted “affordable” units on open space within the developments — so-called “infill” apartments. Because these developments happen to be located in the affluent Chelsea neighborhood, those market-rate units will likely net Related and Essence a steady stream of high-end rent
  17. This is the second go at this type of proposal. A similar demolition plan floated in 2019 at Fulton collapsed after residents accused NYCHA of privatizing public housing. In round two, NYCHA released the results of a survey of 950 residents in which they say 60% voiced support for the demolition plan

Manny Martinez, Chair of the Queens South Citywide Council of Presidents (CCOP), The Myth of the Path Back to Public Housing, the Myth of Cancelling Contracts, the Myth of Return

  1. Section 9 is supposed to reinvest back into the community, such as business development, training mandates, access to the takeover of management, and more, but the conversion to Section 8 does not allow this reinvestment etc
  2. Once Section 9 is gone and there is no coming back
  3. Public Housing Authority is looking after its survival, such as jobs, salaries, etc. Shaun Donovan instituted the RAD program in 2012 and now HUD is trying to redefine Project-Based Voucher Program Section 8 as a subsey of public housing under Donovan‘s creation.
  4. James Van Bramer reported on June 5, 2023 that “Shaun Donovan, a former Obama and Bloomberg administration senior official and New York City mayoral candidate, will be the next CEO and president of Enterprise Community Partners. The nonprofit, one of the nation’s largest affordable housing organizations, announced the appointment Monday. Donovan has extensive experience at the highest levels of the housing policy world. He was secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama and New York City’s housing commissioner under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. During his HUD tenure, Donovan instituted the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, better known as RAD. It was created in 2012 to allow properties to convert public housing units into Section 8 housing. By switching the apartments to a more reliable funding stream, the program allowed local governments to make long-needed repairs. The New York City Housing Authority is using the program to upgrade tens of thousands of apartments in partnership with private developers, who then manage but do not own the properties.”

DISCUSSION

  • Ramona Ferreyra, Save Section 9, The survey did not include an option to stay in public housing or retain Section 9. The options were: rehabilitation, how to do infill and demolition. At no point were tenants asked if they wanted to keep public housing
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, stated that this proposal for public housing or RAD/PACT was on the table three years ago. The current vote was the next step from the RAD/PACT agreement was done three years ago with a working group of 50 tenants and people who opposed renovations.  After two and half years the group proposed to build new buildings.
  • John Mudd, MSCC, asked about Section 9 being done away with at a group meeting, and the role of developers in the decision
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, stated that NYCHA asked the residents to be part of the conversation this time. In the past NYCHA had yet to do this. There were no developers at this stage involved. The group decided on RELATED because it offered the best opportunity to build housing
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Save Section 9, refers to people in the CHATBOX, noting those who were involved in the discussions are saying they were not asked about public housing and there was no option to remain in public housing. The Rockaways populated by Russian American Seniors, said “no” to RAD/PACT. We did not fight back because we did not get the opportunity or the information if people don’t understand the issues
  • John Mudd, MSCC, basic maintenance should have taken place; New York has become the worst landlord
  • Joyce Chediac Wilcox, a Penn South resident, works closely with residents at Fulton. Before COVID -19, tenants at Fulton went door to door opposing demolition and privatization, 635 of the 945 residents signed the petition stating they did not want either demolition or privatization. It was because of this that the working group was formed. However, their wishes were disregarded. All of a sudden it was stated that tenants wanted privatization. This is not what Joyce saw
  • John Mudd, MSCC, the same was done with Midtown when Vornado promoted development. This is a process of quieting the more prominent voice
  • Luana Green, President of Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, notes this is a land grab by the private developers. Darlene Waters, President of the Chelsea- Elliot Tenant Association, should be speaking for Chelsea-Elliot, rather than Miguel, at this meeting. Luana attended the initial meeting, and demolition was not on the table. When residents were given the survey, there was nothing about a vote. It had three options: 1) was for three levels of rezoning. 2) Five to eight demolition periods with the current zoning in place. 3) was for a renovation. Most people chose the third option. It is inconceivable to move the elderly, and it will cause many life issues for people because of displacement. Buildings have systematically been degraded for developers taking over these properties. The median income in Chelsea is currently over $183,000 and thus, the affordability will eliminate our residents
  • John Mudd, MSCC, referred to solidarity and the purpose of developers
  • Lenny Rasodo, Fulton resident since 1967, referred to the vote for the RAD/PACT program and the fact that there was no mention of privatization or Section 9
  • John Mudd, MSCC, referred to the manipulation of information
  • Lenny Rasodo, Fulton resident since 1967, noted that CB4 was also involved in the decision-making
  • Bonnie Rosenstock, Journalist, Bonnerose@aol.com, is reporting on points of view; what did the petition say, were there scare tactics used? How were the tenants chosen for the working group? Will the same people be in the reconvening group in October 2023?
  • Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenant Association, residents who wanted the opportunity were on the committee and will be given the same opportunity in October

CHATBOX

  • Roberta Gelb, Community Member, where will the tenants live while the building is built?
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC, IT WAS A SURVEY, Miguel — not a vote so it is NOT a binding agreement that attorney Norman Siegel has stated. Also, the methodology was minimal. It was done 5 days before the deadline, no lease was attached, and many tenants said they did not “vote.” That was evident at the two protests last week, where residents were furious. Not to mention that you, Miguel intentionally disrupted the protest at the Hudson Guild with a loud SIREN, and your lackey Sam Rosedietcher grabbed my phone out of my hand, which was documented by CBS. You intentionally tried to silence your tenants, so anything you say is very suspect
  • Celines Miranda, Community Member, 70% of people did not vote. They spoke loud and clear . They don’t want private developers
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, We must define public housing
  • Celines Miranda: Of the 30% that voted. Not ALL voted to demolish. So it’s not a full 30% that want to demolish
  • Roberta Gelb: When is an Environmental Impact Study being done?
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, Replying to “When is an Environme…”
  • Celines Miranda: We will all be placed in our apartments. Essence has to stand by their word. But according to their section 8 standards, we will get filtered out . And who will fill I? The empty apartments. Will the vulnerable population. The lowest price income crowd will they enjoy the benefits of living in these new buildings. What are their standards of low income. I asked at the meeting, and a number was not given to me
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9,: They’re making first floors commercial.
  • Dave Tavalin answered the phone lines for the met council, and from a tenant’s rights perspective, section 8 is a horrorshow compared to section 9
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9,: Reacted to “hi answered the phone…” with ?
  • Celines Miranda, Who is the supermarket catered for? We have a supermarket already. This new supermarket will cater to the tenants living in 11th and 12th Avenue. This is not about US; the tenant residents. It’s ALL About THEM—the ones profiting from this goldmine.
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC: This is why displacement will occur; this is the difference between Section 9 and Section 9. Please read the truth not the propaganda spouted by Miguel and the developers.
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9,: Reacted to “Screen Shot 2023-07-04 at 10.09.04 AM.png” with ?
  • Dave Tavalin: I have a lot of questions about the inflated costs of nycha repairs. nytimes reported 10 billion in 2018. then 17 billion them 32 billion now 40 billion in 2023.  intentionally distressing assets for a sale to privatize.
  • Celines Miranda : Miguel  don’t care about the tenants. He tried to humiliate a guy that got evicted. And also wouldn’t let residents have their voice at a rally. With his bullhorn. He’s a bully and don’t care about the tenants. We want him out of TA presidency
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC, 917-501-9444 and marnihalasa@gmail.com. Please read what happened to the tenants at Prospect Plaza NYCHA — they never returned. WHY ON EARTH would a developer help public housing tenants, out of altruism, give me a break… https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/firm-mob-ties-hired-public-housing-demolition-article-1.1348028
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC, Now read what happened at Cabrini Green: 80% NEVER RETURNED and many died waiting. This is a land grab and it is disgusting. We should ALL BE OUTRAGED! https://blockclubchicago.org/2021/12/15/cabrini-green-a-history-of-broken-promises/
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC, IT WAS A SURVEY NOT A BINDING AGREEMENT and you are lying Miguel, most tenants did not vote
  • Dave Tavalin : for a rent stabilized building to do a 7A (getting rid of the landlord so a nonprofit can take over to fix). need 38% of tenants to approve so even 30% is pretty weak.
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9,: Great point Dave. There isn’t a pathway to cancel these contracts written into the law. We are actually fighting for a path back to Section 9 at the congressional level.
  • Alixa Cruz : 100 years owned leased by private developers should be yearly like our lease this way it monitor on people with low income
  • Robert Robinson : Hope six. See post Katrina New Orleans
  • Alixa Cruz : We have housing well constructed fire proof hurricane why destroy our safe building protected by disaster on our weather
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC: Layla, CB4 and other policy people: developers DO NOT HAVE TO RENEW THE “HAP” contract, which is an agreement to maintain the subsidies for Section 9 and Section 8. Most developers when they manage the building, end up NOT RENEWING the subsides so tenants are OUT
  • Alixa Cruz : Renovation is better for tenants anyway and on votes no tenants own the building
  • Alixa Cruz : Federal landscape not tenant own
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC: The tenants at NYCHA Prospect Park were ALSO PROMISED that they could come back. They didn’t return
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC Pls read also what a HOUSING SUPERVISOR at Elliott Chelsea said to these tenants, that THEY WERE GOING TO BE MOVED TO THE BRONX, QUEENS or BROOKLYN — they would NOT stay in CHELSEA. This article just came out. https://www.westsidespirit.com/news/are-residents-really-on-board-with-nycha-s-15b-plan-to-tear-down-rebuild-public-housing-ND2599942
  • Alixa Cruz : What happened to the billions of dollars for housing many years ago and there weren’t repair proper repair cheek labor
  • Alixa cruz : Cheap labor work for nycha where is the money
  • Ramona Ferreyra : This is how tenants are kept from returning
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9,: Changes to the rules and burden of complex application, and additional rules. Along with stricter rules placed on tenants results in higher evictions!
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9,: Joyce, Susan, Robert and Bonnie for questions
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC, Everyone also needs to understand that FULTON HOUSES in 2018/2019 VOTED NO DEMOLITION and NO PRIVATIZATION. Norman Siegel and Fulton tenants and Penn South folks executed a petition that stated as such. FULTON has already spoken NO DEMOLITION. And the NYCHA WORKING GROUP already finalized that there would be NO DEMOLITION. Why isn’t anyone on Community Board 4 stating this? Alan you must remember this. CB4 was in the Working Group. Norman still has all the petitions if anyone needs to see. The fact that the developer is LUMPING Fulton with Elliott-Chelsea is ILLEGITIMATE, one development DOES NOT SPEAK for another
  • Paul Wilcox : Almost 600 residents signed petitions two years ago against privatization. Residents of Fulton
  • Lenny Rasodo, Fulton resident since 1967SO IF WE CANT TRUST HUD WHO CAN WE TRUST
  • Manuel Martinez : Also, I am severely concerned on the narrative that the residents are choosing these options without having the statistical results of those in favor in comparison to the entire resident population and why is NYCHA allowing a private corporation solely manage and monitor a vote that was then repositioned as a survey.  Very questionable practice that NYCHA is known for through the residency of not being fair
  • Celines Miranda : I had called this non profit survey rep that supposedly monitored the votes and asked questions. They didn’t answer anything. They told me that the votes were handed over to Essence and to ask them
  • Alixa Cruz : Tenants are not allowed in the tenant Association tenant president band people of nycha
  • Robert Robinson : Keith Ellison submitted the original bill. PETRA Perservering Enhancement Transforming Rental Assistance. Advocates protested and it was reintroduced as TRA. Transforming Rental Assistance. Advocates got in front of TRA and it was reintroduced as RAD Rental Assistance Demonstration. This issue has been challenged for 13 years
  • Alixa Cruz : I don’t understand the voting there is no clarity most tenants are unaware
  • Alixa Cruz : Section 9 not section 8 security for low income tenants retire etc
  • Robert Robinson, Partners for Dignity and Rights, It’s about control of
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9,: Political will has allowed section 8 to grow while starving public housing!
  • Lenny Rasodo, Fulton resident since 1967Just want to put it out there growing up in FULTON 40 years over the past several months many tenants spoke with me concerning the several proposals I told many of the Tenants that they have a voice Go Vote on what they want and to my disbelief many Literally mentioned I AINT VOTING, just like ONLY 29 percent of those in FULTON go vote during elections time . I told those that said they were not voting Your vote makes a difference. The mentality here is tenants whine and cry but won’t PARTICIPATE in a vote it’s Mindboggling
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9,: Behind that political will is racism, as the shift in the makeup of public housing. Once it was integrated funding began drying up
  • Paul Wilcox: At the meeting at Fulton about 6 weeks ago, the residents were told that there was no real diffenence between the two.  I was there and asked the question
  • Paul Wilcox : They were  told that there was no real difference between Section 8 and Section 9
  • Roberta Gelb: How many people voted?
  • Alixa Cruz: Nycha 9 housing has been in nycha for years section 8 is private developers landlords
  • Manuel Martinez : There was no choice of the conversion process.  The residents involved in any negotiation is regarding certain particulars of the new lease but it was never provided to any resident the ability to remain section 9 public housing
  • Roberta Gelb : And did the vote go to the entire resident population?
  • Celines Miranda : And that we had no choice. They told us at meetings that we were getting converted to section 8 and that we, tenants, didn’t have to do anything. That the conversion was done automatically. We were made to believe that we had no choice and that section 8 was needed to release funds for renovation (before demolition was proposed
  • Paul Wilcox : Tenants opposed to privatization were expelled from the Working Group.
  • Roberta Gelb : Decided by whom???
  • Natasha Florentino : This brings up a deeper problem that has to do with how the RAD program is forced on residents by NYCHA and developers
  • Natasha Florentino : Residents are never given the opportunity to vote on RAD. It is forced on residents
  • Celines Miranda : They told us at meetings that we were getting converted to section 8 and that we, tenants, didn’t have to do anything. That the conversion was done automatically. We were made to believe that we had no choice and that section 8 was needed to release funds for renovation (before demolition was proposed)
  • Roberta Gelb : Who is “us”?
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC TENANTS WERE SCREAMING IN THE WORKING GROUP NO PRIVATIZATION AND NO DEMOLITION, all the groups, Legal Aid Society, Community Service Society, Hester Street, CB4 elected officials IGNORED THE TENANTS. They were against it!!! I was there for 3 meetings then THEY SHUT OUT US FIGHT FOR NYCHA out. And the POLICE WERE THERE SO WE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO GET IN. That’s BS Miguel — THERE WAS NO OPTON TO REMAIN PUBLIC HOUSING
  • Celines Miranda : It was concluded at working group that demolition would not be done. The documents are out there
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC THE WORKING GROUP FINALIZED THAT THERE WOULD BE NO DEMOLITION !!! It’s in WRITING!
  • Celines Miranda : 50 tenants not in working group. As Miguel says. Only 6  tenants from Fulton and 6 tenants from Elliot
  • Alixa Cruz : Miguel Aceedo we need for you to be for us not against us residents you are also a resident we residents are being intelligently force out of Chelsea within the years and section 8 won’t remain 30 percent for 100 years
  • Manuel Martinez : Elliot, Chelsea and Fulton have nearly 2,000 households
  • Lenny Rasodo, Fulton resident since 1967FALSE I WENT WITH SEVERAL OF THOSE TENANTS AND ALL THEY WERE TELLING THE TENANTS WAS TO SIGN FOR NO DEMOLITION ONLY THE 2 I WAS WITH NEVER EVER SPOKE ABOUT PRIVATIZATION
  • Celines Miranda : Our neighbors have the right to join in. They get affected by this one way or another
  • Alixa cruz : Money money marketers are being greedy
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9,: This is something being done by housing authorities nationally
  • Roberta Gelb : Don’t forget the risk of hurricanes – both NYCHA developments are in high risk zones
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9,: How much is a washing machine worth?
  • Alixa cruz : We do we go homelessness tenants of nycha we have enough homelessness in all five boroughs where do we go????
  • Celines Miranda : Yes, thank you. A door man is not a necessity
  • Dave Tavalin : there will be an increase in already over policed nycha developments.  dermont shea who ran nypd went to hudson yards/related.  the SRG is flooding the 3 adjacent precincts.
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC And displaced tenants will stay in the neighborhood, bc they have contacts here and it is familiar. The homeless population will increase substantially.
  • Luana Green, President of Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, They will get to manage and build more buildings on the property.  Crowding the property with buildings will also definitely have an environmental impact with people living on top of them
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, Do folks have any ideas regarding next steps? Drop them in the chat!
  • Jacqueline Lara, Lenny is the Vice president
  • Alixa cruz : Every tenants must be included the same way not all
  • Jacqueline Lara : Of Fulton
  • Joyce Chediac Wilcox : Keep public housing private was a main demand
  • Celines Miranda : Lenny Rosado. he’s TA vice president for Fulton. He’s with Miguel.
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, Do we have the petition?
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC Norman Siegel has the petitions.
  • Paul Wilcox : The petitions were never respected in the Working  Group
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, If we  have it drop a picture of the language.
  • Joyce Chediac Wilcox : Sorry,, keep public housing PUBLIC was a main demand.
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, Okay, we can ask Norman for copies of the petition wording. Thats a next step
  • Alixa cruz : No one should make decision on behalf of the tenants most don’t speak english
  • Celines Miranda : Don’t need 1 billion to fix the necessary problems. Scratch out new windows, generators on roof and all the other stuff we DONT need.
  • Jacqueline Lara, The capital was raised to 478.000. Million, then changed to 1.5 Billion. I’m baffled
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, Thats not acceptable!
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, The lack of repairs is why so many developments accept privatization.
  • Celines Miranda : 1 billion dollars is an exaggerated amount. Let’s look at the breakdown of the expenses.
  • Roberta Gelb : Will the tenants have to requalify to be admitted into the new housing?
  • Jacqueline Lara, Resident, Jacqueline Lara : Jackielara1963@gmail.com, We didn’t have a choice
  • Jacqueline Lara : Who’s we
  • Luana Green, President of Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, Why would you need to rezone and area if you weren’t planning on building more houses on the property?
  • Celines Miranda : Don’t need 1 billion to fix the necessary problems. Scratch out new windows, generators on roof and all the other stuff we DONT need.
  • Luana Green, President of Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, Can we sue?
  • Alixa cruz : Where are the assets of billions given for nycha repairs that why we are what we are right now
  • Celines Miranda : Don’t need a dog park.
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, Legal pathways are really limited for tenants in public housing. But there are milestones that the agreement has to hit in order to make the agrement final.
  • Alixa cruz : Tenants are vulnerable
  • Jacqueline Lara : No we weren’t
  • Luana Green, President of Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, Tenants are being intimidated and the meetings are held in places with limited capacities,  many Tenants were left out of the meetings
  • Luana Green, President of Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, Refused entry
  • Jacqueline Lara : No one wants to hear us
  • Celines Miranda : They are taking advantage that most tenants, such as myself, don’t know our rights or how to defend ourselves. They moved in slowly and got away with a lot .
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC<  WHY DID YOU TURN AWAY TENANTS LAST WEEK at the resident engagement meeting WHEN THERE WERE SEATS AVAILABLE AT HUDSON GUILD AND FULTON HOUSES? Why?
  • Alixa cruz : Fulton Elliot chelsea will no longer be just essence related
  • Luana Green : how when many weren’t allowed in the meetings at all
  • Alixa cruz : Scary for tenants no change please
  • Alixa cruz : Weather you chose and change your mind it’s residents rights
  • Celines Miranda : The seats were taken up by Essence workers. Translators fine but everyone else whose Essence or related didn’t need to be there taking up space of the tenants.
  • Alixa cruz : Whether
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, NYCHA begins talk with developers using the physical needs assessment. That is the inspection that identifies how much money the development needs.
  • Luana Green, President of Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, They didn’t have translators either
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9,: You can view the PNA here: https://www.nyc.gov/assets/nycha/downloads/pdf/2017%20PNA_Development.pdf
  • Bonnie Rosenstock : Please send petition and survey to Bonnerose@aol.com. And any other information you think would help to clarify these issues. 
  • Layla Law-Gisiko, President of the City Club of New York CB4 is having an informational session on NYCHA redevelopment on July 12.
  • Jacqueline Lara : This developer should have sent certified mail to residents of this huge plan. Not leave plastic bags on doorknobs
  • Alixa cruz : Hud was using tenant Association room when tenants weren’t allowed
  • Layla Law-Gisiko, President of the City Club of New York https://cbmanhattan.cityofnewyork.us/cb4/meeting/mcb4-informational-presentation-on-chelsea-nycha-plan/
  • Celines Miranda: That July 12 date conflicts with other important activities.
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC Miguel turns away tenants at Fulton Houses resident meeting last week but seats were available:  https://twitter.com/Marni4Change/status/1674230963633569792?s=20
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, Can anyone ask CB4 to rescheduled that? There’s a NYCHA hearing
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC Alan can you tell CB4 to change the date because there is a conflict
  • Roberta Gelb : https://www.wnyc.org/story/nycha-hires-private-slumlord-public-housing/
  • Roberta Gelb : https://therealdeal.com/new-york/2019/05/01/a-landlord-tasked-to-fix-up-nycha-buildings-owes-the-city-150m/
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, Questions: How were the tenants informed of the meetings? Where can we see the needs assessment conducted by Related?
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, Manny’s point: Note that NYCHA does not pick developments for privatization based on needs! They seem to pick them based on real estate desirability. Because of this Save Section9 is doing research to rank the developments citywide based on needs.We will then compare the needs to the developments being targeted.
  • Luana Green, President of Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, They become homeless
  • Alixa cruz : Tactics they use intelligent move _
  • Layla Law-Gisiko, President of the City Club of New York Chelsea Reform Democratic Club will host an evening program about the NYCHA redevelopment on September 21 at 7pm.
  • Layla Law-Gisiko, President of the City Club of New York https://www.crdcnyc.org/newsletter_signup
  • Luana Green, President of Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, The city planning vote is scheduled for sept 1st
  • Roberta Gelb : Panel with Normal Siegel, Arthur Schwartz and Manny Martinez
  • Alixa cruz : They said vote not they car survey
  • Alixa cruz : Say survey now not vote they changed
  • Alixa cruz : Educate tenants our rights
  • Roberta Gelb : Chelsea Reform Democratic Club will be hosting a meeting on this subject September 19. We are on Facebook and www.crdcnyc.org
  • Alixa cruz : We as citizens and native new yorkers our rights are not respected
  • Roberta Gelb : OOPS!  September 21 (not 19)
  • Paul Wilcox : Intimidation of NYCHA residents needs to stop.  No one can come to a rally with a bullhorn and siren to disrupt a peaceful press conference, as happened.
  • Roberta Gelb : It was called a survey NOT a vote
  • Dave Tavalin : maybe the housing data coalition has some info on evictions and new developments.  this will also affect whatever rent stabilized tenants left also in the blocks surrounding both elliot and fulton.
  • Dave Tavalin : https://www.housingdatanyc.org/
  • Alixa cruz : This needs to stop more it to come with evictions on low income minorities
  • Alixa cruz : Encore account control by tenants instead of the government we control our building
  • Roberta Gelb : The disruption of the neighborhood cannot be underestimated.  Seniors rely on their neighbors.  People can’t be moved like chess pieces on a board.
  • Jacqueline Lara : Fulton is not only my home it’s a feeling, I love my community
  • Luana Green, President of Chelsea Reform Democratic Club create fundraising events, outreach to contractors willing to do pro-bono work
  • Alixa cruz : Leave us alone Money marketers discriminate against us low income
  • Jacqueline Lara : My apartment is also in good condition
  • Jacqueline Lara : We have a few residents that fixed our apartment and give them a tip
  • Jacqueline Lara : What about CB4
  • Manuel Martinez : The funding for section 9 public housing is political and so should the resolution.  NYS has an $8.7 Billion surplus and the neglect of NYC’s public housing is largely at the fault of the state for NYCHA is a state agency (despite the “New York City” in its name).
  • Luana Green, President of Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, cb4 rep was on
  • Vittoria Fariello, District Leader in Lower Manhattan, 5 World Trade Center (5WTC): It is a problem when it is developers that are producing reports. We need independent contractors.
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC And just to let folks know:  Miguel Acevedo disrupting the protest at Hudson Guild last week with his bullhorn and siren. I would like everyone to see how he disrupts a rally of his own tenants, with Hector Vasquez — who sits on CB4 — and cohort Sam Rosedietcher. Anything he says is suspect: https://twitter.com/Marni4Change/status/1673845394139226114?s=20
  • Alixa cruz : Keep section 9 not section 8
  • Jacqueline Lara : We need to investigate everyone who is involved
  • Jacqueline Lara : No we are not moving
  • Celines Miranda : The senior building have been their first target
  • Jacqueline Lara : And we have a thousand signatures from community
  • Alixa cruz : We are staying in our home of many years

ACTIONS

  • Rob Robinson, Housing Advocate, Partners for Dignity and Rights, we need to understand the relationship of the contract to the land, developers are after the land, and thus it’s necessary to understand the contract with the developers’ relationship to the land.
  • Ramona Ferreyra, Saving Section 9, We need to push for the Survey results must be released
  • Luana Green, President of the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, will email John Mudd a copy of the petition. John will email it to Bonnierose@aol.com 
  • John Mudd, MSCC, will ensure that all new members attending today’s meeting will be included in future newsletters and Zoom invitations. (Alixa Cruz at Acpinky31@gmail.com and Roberta requested future invitations)

NEXT Meeting Homeless and Housing Meeting: 9:30 AM Tuesday, August 1, 2023. Always the 1st Tuesday of every month. Contact hello@midtownsouthcc.org or john.mudd@usa.net for more information and Zoom invitations.