In lieu of enacting the controversial Bloomberg-era land lease program, NYCHA is seeking to reduce its monstrous budget gap another way. NYDN reports that the housing authority is quietly selling off green space and parking spots throughout NYCHA developments to affordable housing developers in order to subsidize its $98 million budget gap. NYCHA has been piloting the program since 2011, and as of 2013 sold off 54 plots with 441,000-square-feet to private developers. Whether the housing authority is only selling or also leasing its land is unclear; according to a tenant association president, NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye told her that "NYCHA is not selling the land. They're just giving it away for someone to build on it ... We want them to lease the property. That way we can get money in to fix the problems here."
Although the program will detract public green space from NYCHA developments, it will, in many instances, bring much-needed senior housing to "underutilized" space. As opposed to the Bloomberg-era land lease program which would allow developers to construct 80-20 buildings on leased NYCHA parcels, the authority's current initiative will only allow developers to build affordable housing. Over 250,000 people are currently on the waiting list for the city's affordable housing. The housing authority will release a comprehensive survey of their strategy moving forward in May.
· NYCHA quietly selling off parking lots, green space, playgrounds to help ease budget woes [NYDN]
· Should the City Build More Affordable Housing IN Pricey Areas? [Curbed]
· All NYCHA Land Lease coverage [Curbed]