The former NYCHA chairman was vilified for his plan to develop housing-authority land. Now that the de Blasio administration has issued its own infill plan, is it time for another look at Rhea’s reign?
NYCHA says an extensive visioning process among residents shaped a plan to build new housing developments in the Bronx and Brooklyn. But Tenant Association leaders feel their communities’ feelings weren’t taken seriously.
A group of NYCHA residents and advocates say the mayor has been slow to address NYCHA’s problems and want the authority’s chairwoman ousted so the mayor can run the authority personally. But others leapt to chair Shola Olatoye’s defense.
From 2007 through 2014, nearly 5,000 people were “permanently excluded” from NYCHA because of an arrest—not necessarily a conviction—on or near NYCHA property.
Facing a growing fiscal crisis and crumbling infrastructure, City Hall has called for building affordable housing—and, in some cases, market-rate apartments—on Housing Authority land as part of a broad strategy to save the system that houses 400,000 New Yorkers.
The Housing Authority’s Tenant Associations are supposed to rally residents to fight for their interests. But while some leaders (like Jonathan Gardenhire, above, the vice president of Smith Houses’ TA) have had success, a lack of training, resources and tenant interest have hamstrung most.