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NYCHA’s Shift to Private Management May Drive Evictions, New Report Warns

(CITY LIMITS) David Brand, January 29, 2022

Eviction records for two large NYCHA developments converted to private management under the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program show a higher eviction rate compared to the system average, Human Rights Watch found.

New York City’s five-year-old plan to turn public housing over to private management has eroded tenant protections and may be driving an increase in evictions, according to a reportpublished Thursday by a leading watchdog group.

Eviction records for two large NYCHA developments converted to private management under the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program show a higher eviction rate compared to the system average, Human Rights Watch found. The analysis, based on a review of six complexes converted between 2016 and 2020, follows previous City Limits reporting on the rise in evictions at the Ocean Bay Houses in Queens, the first development to undergo PACT conversion.

“PACT was supposed to make up for the funding shortfall to improve buildings, but it has entailed insufficient oversight and the loss of key protections for tenants’ rights, and, in two cases, we found that the program was tied to increased evictions,” said Jackson Gandour, business and human rights fellow at Human Rights Watch.

Starting in December 2016, NYCHA began leasing its developments to for-profit management companies and converting tenant rental subsidies from Section 9, a public housing designation, to Section 8 under the PACT model, a local version of the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) policy. Plan supporters say the conversions are the fastest way to unlock financing for desperately-needed repairs and maintenance across the sprawling system, home to roughly 360,000 people, according to official figures. The actual population, which includes “unauthorized” residents sharing space with leaseholders, is much larger.

Source: City Limits