New York, NY: Tony Herbert, candidate for Public Advocate in the February 26, 2019 Special Election wants the Governor and Mayor to transfer the management of NYCHA to the Battery Park City Authority. He says BPCA’s stellar record of creating a 92 acre mixed use community which has been studied by designers around the world, makes it the perfect entity to manage, repair and upgrade NYCHA’s 2,602 buildings scattered around New York City.
Herbert says the legislation creating the Battery Park City Authority mandates that excess revenue generated from ground leases be used for affordable housing outside the BPCA footprint. BPCA also has the ability to issue bonds which may be the best way to ensure that the 178,895 NYCHA apartments housing approximately 600,000 residents, are repaired quickly and efficiently.
Said Herbert, “It is clear that the need to repair NYCHA buildings has reached crisis levels. It is also clear that the Mayor’s plan to sell off NYCHA property and transfer more than 60,000 NYCHA apartments to private developers under the RAD program is a risky proposition that could have a detrimental outcome as was the case in Virginia. Rather than put residents at risk and transfer our city’s most valuable assets to private developers, I want legislators to transfer all of NYCHA to the Battery Park City Authority. The BPCA has proven to be an effective and efficient development authority. Throughout it’s fifty years of existence, it has transferred more than a billion dollars in excess revenue to the city, in addition to building and operating roads, ballfields, community centers and parks. I don’t know of any other development authority that has achieved that level of excellence, so it only makes sense to allow it to manage and operate our city’s largest and most valuable asset – NYCHA.
“By transferring NYCHA to the BPCA, the asset will remain with the city.That is a stark contrast to Mayor de Blasio’s NYCHA 2.0 which sells off the asset to private developers. The people of NYCHA deserve a clean, safe place to live without fear of being displaced. And New York taxpayers deserve to know that the asset their tax dollars has been supporting will appreciate in value and be preserved for future generations rather than be traded to a private developer to fatten his/her portfolio.”
Herbert says that language in the legislation that transfers NYCHA to the BPCA should include a mandate that no more than 5% of apartments remain vacant at any given time; that BPCA create a timeline to construct additional affordable housing on unused NYCHA land; and that the Public Advocate have an appointee on the Battery Park City Authority Board.
“The City should have a seat on the Battery Park City Authority board because the excess revenue generated by the BPCA goes to the city. The Public Advocate is the absolute right person to make that appointment because decisions made by the board affects the lives of thousands of individuals.”