Plan to Develop NYCHA Land ‘Moving Forward’—With or Without Resident Support

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New residential towers will replace playgrounds, parking lots and greenspaces atNew York City Housing Authority complexes—no matter what the current residents want.

That was the message from NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye at a Council hearing held at the Isaac Houses-Holmes Towers complex on the Upper East Side, one of 80 sites across the city identified as a “strong neighborhood” for new mixed-use development. The revenues from such half affordable, half market-rate construction would go to make vital repairs at Isaac Houses-Holmes Towers and to patch the troubled public housing authority’s $300 million annual operating deficit and $17 billion backlog of badly needed infrastructure repairs.

After a panel of Isaac Houses-Holmes Towers tenant leaders told Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres’s Committee on Public Housing that they did not want to lose the parcels slotted for a new building, local Councilman Benjamin Kallos asked Ms. Olatoye whether residents “can say ‘no'” to the project.

“This program is moving forward,” the de Blasio administration official answered, to gasps and boos from the packed room of residents. “Residents can say they have their opinions.”

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