Federalization comes to Bay View

The city’s projects just got $400 million richer.

And in Canarsie, the Bay View Houses stand to get a significant piece of the pie.

That’s because the city has cleared a key hurdle in its effort to bring federal funding to 21 Housing Authority developments, including Bay View.

Earlier this month, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that the federal government had approved the city’s application to qualify for federal subsidies, which created a new, limited partnership between the New York City Housing Authority, a financial institution and a not-for-profit organization that would lease the 21 developments from NYCHA.

NYCHA will be the managing partner for the new entity being created.

Until now, the Bay View Houses, located along Seaview Avenue between 102nd Street and Rockaway Parkway, have received no federal funding for either upkeep or capital improvements.

But, now, upwards of $400 million will be added to NYCHA’s coffers for Bay View and the other projects over the course of the next two years. The lion’s share of that funding, according to the city administration, will go to capital improvements.

In addition, between $65 million and $75 million a year will be provided to NYCHA for ongoing maintenance as part of an ongoing HUD subsidy program.

As a result, “residents’ long term quality of life will be improved as dedicated funding and subsidies will bring improvements in building standards and conditions, as well as service enhancements into the future,” said NYCHA chair John Rhea.

Basic improvements are badly needed at Bay View, said Tenants Association President Sylvia Whiteside.

In a phone interview, Whiteside said that tenants would be presenting their priorities to representatives of NYCHA at their next general meeting, which was occurring as this paper went to press.

Among the priorities, said Whiteside, are repairing sidewalks and parking lots, which, she said, are “in horrible shape.” In addition, Whiteside told this paper, “The sewage system needs to be replaced and the terraces [which are common areas on each floor] need to be renovated.”

Tenants had previously voted their support of federalization, Whiteside also said, after NYCHA brought the issue to them about a year and a half ago.

“We know they need the money,” Whiteside stressed. “We know the city and state have not provided us with any financial support for a couple of years. We know the Housing Authority can no longer take money from developments that were federalized to run Bay View, so this is a necessary move.”

State Senator John Sampson concurred. “For years, public housing was dangerously under-funded, risking the lives of thousands of New York families,” he contended, adding that the federalization of Bay View and other NYCHA developments, “means families struggling with the fiscal crisis will get the safe and affordable housing they need to survive.”

Besides Bay View, six other NYCHA developments in Brooklyn are being federalized. They include Boulevard, Bushwick, Independence, Linden, Marlboro and Williams Plaza.

More from Around New York