MFJ Speaks Out on NYCHA Development & Privatization

In testimony before the New York City Council’s Committee on Public Housing, Mobilization for Justice Supervising Attorney Justin LaMort urges lawmakers to look carefully at the impact of the Rental Assistance Demonstration program on tenants, which provides federal funding to convert public housing properties into Section 8 project-based housing. While data is sketchy, preliminary research shows greater turnover of tenants and increased evictions. Loopholes in the statute allow developers to reduce the total number of units, potentially adding to the loss of affordable housing. LaMort urges HUD to collect comprehensive data to ensure compliance with laws, regulations and tenants’ rights and calls on local offficials to provide robust oversight and transparency to avoid these problems.