NextGen Neighborhood: Strengthening Public Housing or Death by a Thousand Cuts?

Authors: Steven Lang*, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, Filip Stabrowski, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Land Use
Keywords: Public Housing, Gentrification, New York City, Privitization
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Muses, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In 2015 the DeBlasio administration released “One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City.” While it claims to be a sustainable and resilient blueprint with a strong focus on social justice and inequality, the plan’s overriding emphasis is on boosting economic growth and making the city competitive on the global stage. It stresses dense, transit oriented waterfront development with projects that are taller, smarter, and stronger as a form of equitable and sustainable growth that will trickle down to solve the city’s housing and environmental problems. In the same year, NYCHA released its “NextGen Neighborhood” plan which embraces private development on some of its open space as a way to solve its “financial death spiral.” Both plans are controversial and have raised fears of gentrification and displacement. This paper will examine the NextGen Neighborhood Plan in detail, focusing on how key stakeholders (NYCHA, the Mayor’s Office, resident associations, and nonprofit housing developers and service providers) are being incorporated into the plan. Specifically, we will highlight the tensions and contradictions involved in incorporating private and mixed-income development to “solve” the problems of public housing. We discuss questions of affordability, management, maintenance, tenant selection, and community services for public housing residents and pay particular attention to the ways that affordable housing activists and community- based anti- gentrification organizations are responding to the specter of privatization.

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