2,400 NYCHA apartments to get upgrades in Manhattan, Brooklyn, starting in 2019, mayor says

“We are trying to turn this around,” de Blasio said of the planned renovations.

The city announced Monday that more NYCHA apartments in Manhattan and Brooklyn will have kitchens and bathrooms gut-renovated and benefit from other upgrades via public-private partnerships.

The 2,400 apartments located in 21 developments, including 335 E. 111th St. and Louis Armstrong I in Clinton Hill, will collectively benefit from hundreds of millions in renovations through U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program, or RAD. The arrangement will direct a total of $400 million in Section 8 funding to repairs, which will be overseen by private developers selected by the city.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said RAD has been successful at several NYCHA developments, such as Campos Houses I on the Lower East Side. He said tenants are not forced out of their homes during the construction or forced to pay higher rents or fees.

“This means there is a place that people will be proud of,” de Blasio said.

Construction is slated to begin in 2019, and the city will select development teams for the 21 sites this fall. Under RAD, NYCHA envisions signing 99-year leases with partners, where NYCHA maintains ownership of the land and an ownership stake in the buildings. The private-public partnerships would regularly renew 20-year agreements for the Section 8 vouchers used to keep rents down.

NYCHA announced Monday that it had already selected development teams for similar private-public repair projects at 700 Bronx apartments. That $80 million renovation project will also commence in 2019, according to the city.

Two weeks ago, the city settled a lawsuit by the federal government that charged NYCHA administrators with leaving thousands of units in a state of disrepair and then lying about it. In addition to acknowledging wrongdoing, the city agreed to allow a federal monitor to oversee NYCHA’s operations.

The mayor said the city is using programs such as RAD to correct these errors, and that conversations about the details of the monitor are moving along with federal officials.

“The city didn’t do enough,” de Blasio said. “We are trying to turn this around.”

Ivan Pereira