NYU student newspaper publishes editorial critical of RAD, finding that the privatisation of public housing has been “proven to be a disaster for tenants in other states”

“NYCHA residents continue to be put in dangerous conditions.”

“As the city tries to put public housing in the hands of private landlords, the actual tenants amount to no more than an afterthought, even as they are being forced into unsafe conditions.”

NYU student newspaper published a courageous editorial by Asha Ramachandran in which she expressed criticism of RAD, finding that the privatisation of public housing has been “proven to be a disaster for tenants in other states.” Even though New York City faces a housing crisis, “only 3.7% of New York City’s $95 billion budget is allotted for housing.”

Excerpt :

What NYCHA desperately needs is billions of dollars in funding in the state budget specifically devoted to fixing public housing units and giving residents the protections that are long overdue. Organizations like Fight For NYCHA and The Legal Aid Society have organized and represented NYCHA tenants in court and enlisted city council members, and have held demonstrations and town halls trying to achieve this.

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Brad Hoylman, enemy of the people, was improbably the “front face” of the NYCHA protest up in Albany

Brad Hoylman was up in Albany, with public housing residents as a backdrop, so he could say he was not in New York City for the public housing bloodbath.

Yesterday, the seemingly “front face” of the NYCHA protesters, who were bused up to Albany by a syndicate of nonprofit groups, was none other than State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea), the former General Counsel to the Partnership for New York City, itself a syndicate of corporate interests, which rivals the Real Estate Board of New York in subverting Government for big money donors in New York.

State Sen. Hoylman has been deceiving tenants into believing he’s on their side, when in reality he has never stopped working for the corrupt interests of Big Business. Last year, he folded all support for the pied-à-terre tax on non-primary residences with a market value of $5 million or more as soon as, you guessed it, REBNY’s lobbyists began to mount serious pressure against the tax. State Sen. Hoylman will never stand up to Big Business.

This year, Big Business interests are pressuring Mayor Bill de Blasio to end public housing as we know it, including in State Sen. Hoylman’s own district. And State Sen. Hoylman has not once denounced the mayor or the mayor’s plans. Like last year, Fight For NYCHA reasonably expect State Sen. Hoylman to put on a big show about how much he supports public causes, and then he will fold at the very last minute, like he always does.

This is a repeat of 2010, when State Sen. Hoylman, at that time then as chair of Manhattan Community Board 2, claimed that he supported saving St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, but then turned his back on the community when Partnership for New York City director (at that time then) Willaim Rudin began to call in mortgage notes from the public charity hospital, setting off a chain of events that led to the hospital’s bankruptcy and liquidation at pennies on the dollar.

Is it no coïncidence that, finally, on the same day when Mayor Bill de Blasio moves word of his rapid expansion of RAD conversions in Brooklyn and Manhattan, it would take place as State Sen. Hoylman was leading this charade up in Albany ?

It’s like that famous scene in the Godfather (1972) movie, when the main character Michael Corleone attended the baptism of Connie’s baby. As Michael was being made the godfather of the baby in a church service, his henchmen carried out assassinations so Corleone could seize power. Up in Albany, there was State Sen. Hoylman at the metaphorical alter. Meanwhilst, down in New York City, Mayor de Blasio, who, as REBNY’s henchman, was earnestly carrying out the hits on public housing.

NYCHA RAD lease reveals that tenants legally accept Section 8 apartments “as is,” potentially precluding complaints about conditions, compensation over injuries

Landlords argue that when tenants accepted apartments “as is,” tenants accept dangerous conditions on the property and are thus precluded from suing landlords over dangerous conditions.

After the New York City Housing Authority (“NYCHA”) canceled without any advance notice a 18 Dec. 2019, meeting between tenants of 572 Warren Street and their new RAD Landlord, NYCHA ultimately rescheduled that meeting for 21 Jan. 2020, at the Wyckoff Community Center in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

At last night’s meeting, NYCHA pro-RAD functionary Leroy Williams, who has run afoul of Government transparency advocates, conducted the meeting. Members of Fight For NYCHA were there and were able to obtain several documents that show for the first time that NYCHA considers RAD to be “partial privatization,” a term that the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) had previously rejected. A representative of Arker Companies, the RAD Landlord, addressed the tenants.

RAD stands for Rental Assistance Demonstration, an Orwellian name given to an Obama administration housing program that turns public housing into one of those nightmarish “public-private partnerships.” RAD has been shown to lead to higher rents, an increased incidence of landlord harassment, and upward spikes in evictions.

Reference Documents

Most problematic is that the new RAD Lease that public housing residents are being forced to sign under duress of displacement strong-arms tenants into accepting the uninhabitable conditions of their apartments “as is.”

The Form of the RAD Lease negotiated by NYCHA and the Legal Aid Society contains language that bankers acting as lenders to RAD structured finance transactions had requested or required, according to one RAD Landlord. Whenever an “as is” provision such as this has been written into residential apartment leases, such language has been called an illegal attempt to waive the implied warranty of habitability.

NYCHA residents have been forced to live in uninhabitable apartments with non-working elevators, broken boilers, poisonous lead in drinking water and in household paint, leaks, and toxic mold. The latest crisis public housing residents face are the risks of RAD.

Given that NYCHA residents have been forced to live in public housing apartments that violated Federal regulations for physical condition standards, NYCHA is forcing tenants to accept express waivers of the implied warranty of habitability that case law establishes for residential apartment leases.

A 2015 discussion paper by Harvard Law School student Meirav Furth-Matzkin described “as is” language in residential leases as an example of an “unenforceable disclaimer of the warranty.”

According to the presentation at last night’s meeting at the Wyckoff Community Center, a representative of the new RAD Landlord for 572 Warren Street admitted that NYCHA worked in conjunction with the Legal Aid Society to draft the Form of the RAD Lease, adding that some of the language was requested or required by the RAD bankers acting as lenders to the structured finance transaction.

Rent hikes coming in six months.

An agent of the RAD Landlord also mentioned that the RAD conversion of 572 Warren Street is expected to take place in February 2020. Generally, public housing tenants get recertified for a new lease every 12 months. During recertification, the local public housing authority audits residents’ income in order to claim 30 per cent. of residents’ income as rent. However, the new RAD Landlord at 572 Warren Street is expected to begin recertification process only six months into the RAD conversion, meaning tenants face an accelerated rent increase in 2020.

Defenders of RAD conversions have long claimed that RAD Landlords only profit from tax credit provided for in structured finance transactions. Critics of RAD point to the accelerated rent increases coming to 572 Warren Street residents as an example of RAD Landlords seeking to profit from rent increases extracted from residents living on fixed incomes or very low incomes. Tenants also face a phase-out of services or utilities, which will transfer opportunity costs or expenses directly to residents, thus adding to their rent burden.

Pack the Overdevelopment meeting hosted by Elected Officials at CUNY Graduate Center

Join us on Thursday to pressure elected officials to stop the demolition and RAD conversion of Fulton Houses.

Several elected officials are holding a meeting against overdevelopment on Thursday night at 6 pm at CUNY Graduate Center at 34th Street and Fifth Ave.

Help us pack the meeting, so we can ask elected officials : if you are against “overdevelopment,” then it’s time to stop the demolition and RAD conversion of NYCHA that will bring gentrification directly to public housing.

After decades of divestment by all levels of Government, NYCHA stands vulnerable to predatory actors including private landlords, luxury real estate developers, REBNY, and their lobbyists.

If you are against “overdevelopment,” then it’s time to stop the demolition and RAD conversion of NYCHA that will bring in private landlords that will turn public housing into a for-profit business. Come tell elected officials to say no to demolition and RAD at Fulton Houses and the rest of NYCHA.

DATE : Thursday, June 27, 2019

TIME :  6 pm

PLACE : CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave., Manhattan

RSVP : Stop RAD before it brings Gentrification to NYCHA [Facebook]

Pack the meeting to ask Elected Officials to stop the demolition and RAD conversion of NYCHA. That’s considered “overdevelopment,” too.

Fulton Houses tenants hold protest to stop demolition, RAD conversion

We Must Save NYCHA !

Fulton Houses Tenant President Miguel Acevedo couldn’t keep his 37 shift stories straight about the demolition and RAD conversion of Fulton Houses

Fulton Housing tenants are receiving scary letters from elected officials at the same time NYCHA is offering them buy-outs to leave their apartments.

A group of corporate Democrats, ranging from U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY 10), Borough President Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan), New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea), New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea), and New York Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea), co-signed a letter to New York City Housing Authority Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia, asking that NYCHA consult with Fulton Houses tenants about plans announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) to demolish two apartment buildings and to put up majority market-rate luxury apartment buildings on the site of Fulton Houses.

Activists have warned Fulton Houses tenants that the consultation is a trap, since none of the public officials have neither publicly opposed the demolition of public housing buildings, nor publicly opposed the RAD conversion of public housing. Under RAD, public housing is put into the hands of private landlords, thereby turning public housing into a for-profit business. A consultation without opposition to the Mayor de Blasio’s plan would count toward the approval of Mayor de Blasio’s plan.

Following the protest, Fulton Houses Tenant President Miguel Acevedo was confronted about his refusal to forcefully oppose the demolition and RAD conversion of Fulton Houses. He changed his story at least 37 different times, according to a video of one part of the exchange.

Press Conference to stop RAD conversion of Fulton Houses

#A28 Fight For NYCHA Press Conference

Join us for a press conference to speak out against the private landlord take-over of the Fulton Houses.

DATE : Sunday, April 28, 2019

TIME : 1:30 pm

PLACE : Fulton Houses, 119 9th Ave, Manhattan

RSVP : Press Conference against RAD Conversion of NYCHA [Facebook]

If you received a call from us, here is the WNYC report we promised to make available to you. Please listen carefully :

NYCHA Hires Private ‘Slumlord’ to Run Public Housing

RAD is a bad deal for NYCHA tenants

City-wide, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) has announced plans to convert 62,000 NYCHA apartments, allowing private landlords to control public housing. But the RAD program he wants to use can increase the rent, lead to tenant harassment and exploitation, the possibility of rescreeing, and, possibly, evictions.

In particular, we question how Mayor de Blasio can be disposing real property in the Fulton Houses when Borough President Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan) has sued to stop the lease/sale/development at the Holmes Towers in the Upper East Side. How can Mayor de Blasio be doing this in Chelsea when there is a pending Court case about the lease/sale/development of NYCHA ?

If NYCHA tenants are evicted, or lose their lease due to rescreenings, they will have no place to go. Housing Court evictions effectively bar tenants from renting from private sector landlords. Since New York City severely lacks low-cost housing, it is conceivable that NYCHA tenants may face homelessness due to the RAD conversion of public housing.

RSVP : Press Conference against RAD Conversion of NYCHA [Facebook]

Fight For NYCHA, Community Control of Land Use New York, and Not One More Block are co-sponsoring this press conference.

Join Fight For NYCHA in opposing any sale of public housing

RAD Conversions Lead to Tenant Harassment and Evictions

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) has announced that he plans to sell 1/3 of NYCHA public housing to private real estate interests. This sale will put 62,000 public housing apartments in the hands of private real estate developers and investors. Mayor de Blasio is disguising the sale by describing it a RAD conversion to Section 8 housing. In Maryland and Virginia, RAD conversions have lead to tenant harassment and evictions due to loss of tenant protections.

Help us plan a city-wide assembly to stop the sale of NYCHA and to self-determine the future of public housing.

For more information, please call us at : (646) 847-9550.