1. Make overdue investments NYCHA housing
Preserving and Creating Affordable Housing > Recommendations

Gowanus Houses, Wyckoff Gardens, and Warren Houses have deteriorated from a long history of capital disinvestment. Common problems reported by tenant organizations include broken elevators, interruptions in heat and hot water and inadequate maintenance.Nyman, Schwartz, and Scanlon, Reconsidering Gowanus: Opportunities for the Sustainable Transformation of an Industrial Neighborhood, 26. Heavy rains are regularly followed by sewer backups. This chronic condition of under-maintenance was further exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy, which flooded parts of Gowanus Houses, causing a power outage that lasted weeks and exposing how climate change increases vulnerability of NYCHA residents. Making these developments resilient will require the relocation of electrical and heating infrastructure within the buildings. The community centers need to be modernized and maintained. Playgrounds and open spaces in the developments are in need of repair and improvement. These investments must be prioritized as part of any future Gowanus plan. Funds that are generated for local capture by the Gowanus TIF program (see the Infrastructure section) or provided in the New York City Capital Budget should be directly tied to NYCHA improvements.

 

Post-Sandy relief efforts in NYCHA housing Credit: photo by Natalie Havlin, courtesy Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE)

Post-Sandy relief efforts in NYCHA housing
Credit: photo by Natalie Havlin, courtesy Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE)