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For Some Lower East Siders, SPURA Is Too Little Too Late

The Seward Park Urban Renewal Area is finally being developed, a mere half century after the city laid the groundwork for the megaproject by demolishing the tenement homes of 1,800 Lower East Side families. And while the new Essex Crossing development promises to deliver 500 units (half the total) of affordable housing, it's too little (way) too late for the residents who were displaced in 1967. "They told us 50 years ago they were going to build apartments for poor people. That was a lie," one former resident told the Times. "Now they are building something for low-income, but it's only a few apartments ... I miss my old neighborhood."

Housing advocates like Edward Delgado, 63, who was a teenager when he was evicted from his Lower East Side home, are attempting to ensure that the people who were among to originally displaced have a fair chance at the subsidized housing. The situation is far from ideal, however. "These new people live in our community, but they are not part of it," he told the Times. "They create their own institutions to make sure they don't have to interact with us. We're seen as quaint or invisible, which is worse." This is probably a good time to read up on all the political cronyism that kept the site vacant for so long.
· Rebuilding a Neighborhood, but Not a Community [NYT]
· Change is Bittersweet for Lower East Side's SPURA Locals [Curbed]
· SPURA coverage [Curbed]