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NYCHA Residents Afraid of Being 'Forced Out' By New Housing

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Last week, the De Blasio administration revealed the two NYCHA properties where private developments may be coming in: Wyckoff Gardens in Brooklyn, and the Holmes Towers on the Upper East Side. It's part of the city's controversial NextGeneration program, in which vacant or underutilized space within NYCHA developments will either be sold or put on a 99-year lease for the development of buildings that are half market rate and half affordable. Now, residents of those homes are speaking out about the proposal—and, unsurprisingly, they're not happy.

The Daily News spoke with residents at Wyckoff Gardens, who are concerned at the effect that market-rate apartments will have on a neighborhood that's already in flux:

"With the market rate income, what's going to be happening to a neighborhood that's already stressed?" asked Beverly Corbin, 61, a longtime Wyckoff resident. "The people who are high income, they're not going to be shopping at the local bodega. We already lost a Chinese restaurant and a laundromat."

Other tenants spoke of getting robo-calls from NYCHA chairwoman Shola Olatoye that mentioned forthcoming repairs and capital improvements, but not the incoming private developers. One Wyckoff resident told the Daily News, "How are you going to have people here paying $200, $300 rent, then you've got tenants in a brand new building paying $1,500, $2,000? I think they're trying to force us out."

The mood was much the same on the Upper East Side, where DNAInfo spoke with residents of the Holmes Towers, who are worried that the "underutilized" space that NYCHA wants to repurpose will include a playground within the development. One resident, Luis Carmona, said that the playground was only recently reopened after repairs to the surrounding buildings had closed it off for much of the summer.

And as in Brooklyn, others are worried about the effect of adding market-rate apartments to what is typically low- and middle-incoming housing.

"What they're doing is taking from the kids," said Holmes Towers resident Unique Walker. "Where will our kids play? It's not fair that the poor suffer so the rich can have a place to live." · EXCLUSIVE: NYCHA tenants fear de Blasio's plan for pricey rentals on their grounds will eventually force them out [NYDN]
· Residents Fume Over City's Plan to Build High-Rise on Top of UES Playground [DNAInfo]
· NYCHA Targets Boerum Hill, Upper East Side for Development [Curbed]
· All NYCHA Coverage [Curbed]