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CurbedWire: The Cantilever of Third Avenue, Blowback on Selling Public Housing in 'Expensive Neighborhoods'

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[Photo via Will Femia]

MURRAY HILL?How, and why, did they do that cantilever thing, exactly? Man on the street Will Femia looked up, saw the overhang, took this photo of the situation on 3rd Ave between 23rd and 24th and sent it along. "I just think it's funny how they built over that little building on the corner," he writes. Yes, it certainly is very funny. [CurbedWire Staff]

EVERYWHERE?It was hard to imagine that last week's remarks by the Regional Director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development that New York sell off some of its public housing in "expensive neighborhoods" would pass without one or two calls for an ouster. Today, Assem. Keith Wright from Harlem sent out a letter that does not disappoint on that front. It says, in part:

14,633 people live in public housing within my district, one of the highest concentrations in the Country let alone the City of New York. To privatize just one building in our community would be entirely destructive to both our culture and our neighborhood;
the mere suggestion of such has sent shockwaves through the Harlem community. It is my belief that Regional Director Moss does not value the neighborhoods of Harlem, the Lower East Side, Chelsea or Hell’s Kitchen.

These communities are a mix of public and private housing and are located within communities which would probably be labeled as ‘expensive’, as most locations within the borders of New York City would be in light of current real estate trends. If one was to take these comments at face value, one would assume that Mr. Moss does not feel that public housing residents have the right to live in upper class neighborhoods and that they should be moved into areas where people of similar economic status already reside. To propose such a plan for New York City public housing is at least elitist and at worst segregationist.

If Mr. Moss were to have talked to the residents of these public housing developments, the residents who have suffered through the bad times of these now burgeoning neighborhoods, there is a possibility that he would feel quite differently about mass displacement of public housing.

Time will tell if more letters and statements are coming. [CurbedWire Inbox]