Skip to comments.New York City Plans to Topple Public Housing Towers
Posted on 02/05/2010 11:14:09 AM PST by NativeNewYorker
Philadelphia tore down 21. Chicago leveled 79. Baltimore took down 21 as well, and when six of them came down in one day in 1995, it threw a parade.
Since the 1990s, public housing high-rise buildings have come tumbling down by the dozens across the country as cities replaced them with smaller suburban-style homes that did not carry the stigma of looming urban despair and poverty.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
“smaller suburban-style homes”
Hmmmmm....I wonder how they were all financed?
They gunna start with Co-Op City?
Bingo. No more phone calls; we HAVE a winner.
One of the greatest failures of the modernist architecture movement.
Fannie, Freddie and welfare-backed loans.
They’re tearing down the Bronx?
...first it took “the agency” THREE YEARS to develop the plan? And cost a couple of million along the way?
Second....like the article says, we had these things in Baltimore and they were really, really awful. They were cesspools of crime, poverty, and despair. Yes I know the folks living there likely bought it on themselves but just walking by one of them was depressing. Baltimore’s were all right by Baltimore’s Little Italy, near downtown, just awful places.
Third, it probably doesn’t matter and I’ll sound like a liberal, but any innocent child raised in those places has overwhelming odds of not breaking that ghetto grip.
Now Baltimore did phase over to Section 8 housing and this is nobody’s dream of a solution either. Still and so, it’s waaaaaay better than those high rise ghettto housing nightmares.
I worked for Baltimore’s largest property management firm and we managed Section 8 housing. It weren’t pretty.....
....BUT....you did have the advantage of private property owners charged with watching the tenants. Section 8 tenants are a tough lot but the owners of the property were damn determined to keep the property as undamaged as possible and trouble-makers were booted out without much delay. If you didn’t pay your rent you didn’t stay much longer than two months.
Section 8 housing is also used by many, many elderly citizens and these were the folks often so horribly murdered, robbed and brutalized in those public housing nightmares.
Nothing’s perfect but Section 8 housing does provide some sense of normalcy for children raised in one. The highrises were little more than gathering vicious rats in very tall boxes.
Private landlords really hate Section 8 housing by the way but given the right profit incentive they’d do it. My company purchased apt bldgs when they were Section 8, cleared them out by attrition, then simply didn’t rent to section 8 tenants if at all possible.
How does section 8 get paid? Is it direct to the landlord or to the tenant?
Wondering why a section 8 renter would skip on their rent...
The article says that part of it will be payed for by a $21.4 million grant given to the housing authority in 1999. Now only $17 million remains. My question is. They sat on this money for eleven years, and now have 4.4 million less dollars. Where the hell did it go?
I viewed the “urban renewal” projects as herding people out of somewhat functioning neighborhoods into “Soviet Union style apartment blocks”. Some of the motives where a bit racist - see some of former Newark NJ’s mayor (and later prison inmate) Addonizio’s comments.
Section 8 renters get rent paid by the gubmint.
It is such a pain to administer.
Biggest problem...while it’s a right fair way to do it, Section 8 has a different basis for every tenant. YOU might get 80% of your rent paid by the city with the other 20% you having to pay. MYSELF might have half of my rent paid by the gubmint with MYSELF responsible for the other half.
First problem, anybody thinks Section 8 accounting was always paid on time and correctly raise your hand. Remember we’re talking gubmint workers here. You’d get one check a month for a section 8 apartment complex and it took days to figure out what they were paying.
There was always problems. Tenant in 2A was supposed to be subsidized by 30% but the check instead reflects 20% subsidy. So there was those kinds of mistakes, human error, that sort of thing.
The bigger problem was the tenants. They were ALWAYS confused. “I was told that I’d only have to pay $50.00 a month cause I got my Aunt living with me and I had to take a lower paying job” you’d be told and whatever, whatever....YOU, the ersatz landlord, was stuck in the middle. and you couldn’t solve the problem so you got to call Section 8 unit and wait for them to explain and on and on and on.
If a Section 8 tenant didn’t pay what they were supposed to pay, even IF it was only, say, fifty bucks a month, you could evict them same as any other tenant paying full rent. Of course you rarely did that as it just wasn’t cost efficient until maybe a low copay subsidy tenant got backlogged over a year. If you did take action you’d take the case file to court, spend an entire day down there, the judge would get on the phone and call Section 8, the same Section 8 that wouldn’t listen to YOU when you kept calling and telling them you were going to evict Tenant 1A for not paying their copay. The judge would get an immediate committment, quite often, from Section 8 to pay the difference and you had to sit and wait for them to come down with the money.
I could go on and on and on and on.....the stories...they write themselves.
And still I say it’s better than the High Rises. The vast majority of our Section 8 tenants were good people, a bit dim sometimes, lazy. Lazy people, all societies have them...you really can’t have too many of them just living on the street. But most were just folks wanting to live a peaceful life, maybe smoke a little dope oncit in a while.
The BAD ones were really, really, really bad and within a couple of months they were gone, at least by my firm. After a while you got to know who was gonna be a problem and began working on culling them out. And unlike the gubmint, private Section 8 landlords could refuse someone and in time you got to know who was bad news.
That’s the problem with the highrises. All you had was the gubmint doing that kind of thing and go with me here, the bad ones remained and truth is it was THEM what infected everything.
Just some insight from she who has been there.
Doesn’t small suburban style homes take up valuable property that can be used for income tax paying property? Sheesh, not only do people get rent for $5 a month, they get to not be “stigmatized” as being poor too?
Just a hunch here, but I spent a lifetime managing property and such...not that I’m necessarily proud of that.
I suspect that there are very few “small suburban homes” being rented by Section 8 tenants.
In Baltimore we did have smallish apartment complexes, kind of nice places in the grander scheme of things....flowers in the front, well-maintained, more often then you’d think in kind of nice neighborhoods. I suspect that this what they are classifying as small suburban homes.
Landlords seldom rent individual homes, which is kind of what that term hints at, to Section 8 tenants.
I know a guy who buys crappy houses, cover the rot with new aluminum siding and covers the rotting floors with plyboard and cheap rugs and makes a mint renting to section 8.
He says he doesnt really care what happens to the houses as they are crap anyway and he gets his checks from the Gubmint every month.
They call that “flipping”. I worked for a guy that did this except, to be fair, he really did try to craft a decent house out of crap. FLIPPERS had a bad reputation at that time but hey, now they have an HGTV show actually called “FLIPPING” something, something.
But this guy never rented to Section 8’rs but like I say, he really did a nice job with his renovations.
I suspect that your guy and his fine refurbished houses are likely the only single homes rented to section 8’rs.
This plan falls under the Hope VI program. All of the houses will be taxable property owned by individuals and private companies. They usually build rowhouses and sell them to individuals, setting aside a certain percentage for rent or sale to low income families.
They have done this with several housing projects in Charlotte. Now there are very nice family friendly neighborhoods where rich, middle class and poor all live next door to each other is well constructed rowhouses.
Hope VI is a capitalist solution to rid us of the problem of blighted public housing projects.
I have a friend who fixes up old homes and rents them out. He says he loves the section 8 people because the government now sends the rent checks directly to him. The renters cant be late because they never see the money.
If this guy is onto this and is making money you can bet there are others.
Ilene Popkin, the agencys assistant deputy general manager for development, said it would cost $481,000 to renovate each of the 269 apartments. Demolishing the structures and building 361 new units would cost $381,700 per unit.
If they simply let the previous tenants move back in they can finish demolishing the buildings in no time.
Another alternative which might be cheaper would be to let illegal aliens move in. They would paint the buildings red, green, pink, blue, orange, and yellow. And while they might not look so great they would at least do the work at their own expense. The previous dwellers aka lifetime welfare recipients have only served to destroy everything given to them by our tax dollars. If this plan works we could start a new trade program with Mexico. We could trade three welfare recipients for every one hard working young Mexican who wants to come here and live the American dream.
NYC is the only place I can think of in the US where you have people paying $3,000K plus a month for a studio two blocks away from the projects (see the west 100s, the Lincoln Center area, Chelsea, etc.). If said folks were to be relocated to "low rent" areas, it would have to be in Pennsylvania or Troy.
You tend to see alot of section 8 these days in much of the north Bronx (Van Nest, Baychester, Wakefield, etc.) as many of the old homeowners die off and are replaced by renters.
Co-op city is lower middle class and blue collar working.
Heck, you can pay big bucks and have a view OF the projects.