On August 18th, JFAC executive committee member published an oped highlighting the pitfalls of the latest strategy put forth by NYCHA for addressing repairs, as well as highlighting alternative pathways that could be pursued.

We’ve highlighted a few excerpts below, but please do read the oped here.

…my critique of the new plan is rooted in a commonality across these plans, and a trend in our city that undergirds a lot of community-based concerns and organizing efforts beyond public housing. In short, all of these plans are about the financialization of public housing. Said another way, these strategies work to bring public housing under the control of financial professionals, and market logics, processes, and practices.

The financialization of public housing is dangerous because of how it changes the functional meaning of what housing is. These buildings are homes and communities, and places where people make their lives, take a break from life and create it, care for their families, and more. But, as we heard repeatedly in Russ’ presentation, financialization schemas position public housing in New York City as an asset portfolio. Assets are vehicles for wealth accumulation; that is their dominant function and it usually trumps other use values.