Some residents in Chelsea, New York City are expressing concerns over NYCHA’s redevelopment plan, a recent announcement by the city to demolish and rebuild two public housing developments.
NYCHA’s Redevelopment Plan
The NYCHA’s redevelopment plan, which is estimated to cost $1.5 billion, aims to replace the Fulton and Elliott houses with new apartments while ensuring that tenants continue to pay the same rent.
The NYCHA’s redevelopment plan and construction of the new buildings will be carried out by Essence Development and Related Companies, known for their involvement in building the nearby Hudson Yards development.
The new apartments will feature amenities such as doormen, in-unit heating and cooling systems, and dishwashers. The construction is expected to commence next summer and could take up to six years to complete.
Some tenants expressed optimism about the new buildings, emphasizing the added safety and security they would provide. Florence Dent, one of the tenants, remarked, “We get our doors locked. You know, feel safer.”
NYCHA’s Redevelopment Plan Causes Tensions
NYCHA assures that all current residents of the Fulton and Elliott houses will be accommodated in the new buildings and that their rent will remain at 30% of their income.
However, some residents fear that this redevelopment project may lead to their displacement, CBS News reported.
The tension surrounding the NYCHA’s redevelopment plan was evident during a meeting held at NYCHA’s Fulton Houses. Prior to the meeting, some tenants directed their frustration towards Miguel Acevedo, the tenant association president who supports the demolition plan.
Ruth Thomas, a tenant, voiced her opposition, claiming that representatives from NYCHA had initially promised to repair her apartment.
NYCHA, on the other hand, stated that they conducted a survey among the residents, and the majority, approximately 60%, supported the redevelopment plan. However, some tenants argued that not everyone had the opportunity to vote.
Critics of the plan argue that it will diminish the value of the development and potentially displace vulnerable members of the community, particularly senior citizens.
Concerns were raised about the fate of these individuals if they were forced to move. Yvonne Diaz Gonzalez, a tenant, questioned, “There are senior citizens. They can’t move out. What happens to them?”
Jamar Adams, CEO of Essence Development, addressed the issue of displacement, explaining that residents would be temporarily relocated for two to three years but would remain in the area.
He emphasized that the phased approach was designed to minimize disruption, allowing residents to move from existing buildings into newly constructed ones.
Another meeting with residents is scheduled for the following night, providing an opportunity for further discussions and clarifications on the plan.