From: Rosalba Rodriguez, Borough President Gale Brewer’s Office <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FYI–I have received many calls and emails about a post made on July 8. Below is the response and the article.
Subject: NYCHA: Harlem developments not being sold and demolished
NYCHA: Harlem developments not being sold and demolished
AmNews Staff Reports | 7/11/2016, 1:17 p.m.
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) says rumors claiming that three Harlem housing projects have been sold to a “billionaire housing developer” and are slated for demolition are not true.
The allegation stems from a WordPress blog post with the headline “Harlem Housing To Be Demolished” that appeared on the internet on Friday. The WordPress account and blog entry is authored by someone who identifies themselves as “Jett Rubenstein” claiming to be a Harlem resident from Boston and getting the information from a “reliable source.”
According to the post, the billionaire developer bought the Polo Grounds Houses, the Alexander Hamilton Houses and the Harlem River Houses with plans to demolish them and build luxury housing.
Only 10 percent of the new housing would be affordable and displaced NYCHA residents would get monthly vouchers and a “small moving stipend.”
Here is the full post:
Harlem Housing Projects To Be Demolished
By Jett Rubenstein / July 8, 2016
I am a Harlem resident originally from Boston. I have received some disturbing news regarding my community, from a very reliable source that an identified billionaire housing developer has recently purchased three Harlem housing project developments from the City Of New York, which will displace thousands of low-income families. The Polo Grounds Houses located on Frederick Douglass Boulevard at 155th Street, the Alexander Hamilton Houses on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and also the Harlem River Houses also located at Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard in Harlem. These housing complexes which houses approximately 6,000 low-income tenants has been sold to a developer which will demolish the property and build 6,000 luxury condominium units ranging from 400,000-2.2 million dollars in early 2017 which 10% of the units being offered to middle income families with an average income of 58,000 a year through a special lottery. According to my sources, current tenants will be given a monthly voucher worth 1,000 dollars for rent and a small moving stipend to cover their moving expenses, but most tenants will not be guaranteed these vouchers according to a reliable source and many tenants will have to go on their own to find other housing. I have contacted several housing agencies and the Mayor’s office regarding this situation and neither agency will issue a comment regarding this breaking news matter. Of course, if I receive any additional news, I will update new information to my blog.
The blog post has gone viral getting heavy rotation on social media. It had been shared over 10,000 times on Facebook as of Monday afternoon.
In a statement to the AmNews, a NYCHA spokesperson said the rumors are completely false and that the agency has no plans of demolishing any public housing developments. The agency added that there are programs in place to prevent such a thing from happening.
“These rumors are 100% not true and irresponsible,” the statement said. “Every step NYCHA is taking under NextGeneration NYCHA, the Authority’s ten-year strategic plan, is to prevent the demolition and abandonment of public housing like other cities have done. NYCHA does not know the source of these false statements, which are intended to incite little more than panic, but residents can be assured they are completely untrue and baseless.”
The AmNews has reached out to Rubinstein about the allegation.