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March 21, 2016

Chair Shola Olatoye


New York City Housing Authority
250 Broadway
New York, NY 10007
Dear Chair Olatoye,
As NYCHA continues to engage with residents and community groups at Wyckoff Gardens
around the current proposal to lease NYCHAs land to private developers for the development of
50% market rate and 50% affordable housing, it is vital that open communication, transparency
and trust be actively maintained on both sides. Residents have continually expressed frustration
with NYCHA regarding the ineffective and often condescending manner in which engagement
and communication has been handled, as well as the apparent disregard for resident input that is
reflected in NYCHAs continued process.
We believe that the recent announcement to issue an RFP in April made at the last community
engagement meeting held on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 run counter to the agreements that
NYCHA has made both publicly and in meetings to residents. Specifically, as you know, in
order to ensure meaningful resident engagement and to build trust, NYCHA had agreed to
postpone the issuance of a Wyckoff Infill 50/50 RFP to late summer 2016 Additionally, this
recent reversal on both timing of the issuance as well as the formation of a Resident Stakeholder
Committee contradicts the efforts that have been made so far to ensure residents are
meaningfully engaged and at the forefront of the decision-making process.
Since the original announcement for a Wyckoff Infill 50/50 proposal in September of 2015,
residents and community groups have raised a host of concerns and questions around the impacts
this plan will have on their quality of life, current tenants rights and the economic stability of
their community. While there have been conversations around these concerns at engagement
meetings, these questions have not been addressed in writing by NYCHA in a comprehensive
FAQ.
While NYCHA has shared that the regulations governing the RFP and developer selection
process limit the amount of information NYCHA can disclose to residents before it is made
public, it is our position that residents should be involved in informing the parameters set in the
RFP beyond the criteria for building height, location and amenities provided. Specifically,
resident concerns around a guarantee of timely quality capital repairs to existing buildings within
the Wyckoff Gardens development must be addressed. NYCHA should be willing to guarantee
that Wyckoff Gardens primary capital needs would be addressed by the proposed RFP prior to
the funds being used for other NYCHA needs, and should agree to a projected timeline for
addressing those needs as part of the RFP process.

Further, there is significant cause for concern regarding both the accelerated timeline for the
release of the RFP from August now to April and the stalled creation of a resident-led steering
committee as a leadership body to represent the interests of Wyckoff Gardens residents
throughout the process of choosing a proposal for development.
We appreciate NYCHAs continued efforts to shift away from the way it has engaged residents
and the public in the past, but are deeply concerned with the seemingly unaccountable changes
and decisions being made without the buy-in and decision-making input of residents.
Increasingly it has been our observation that this proposal and process is moving forward without
sufficient consideration for the community members it would affect.
It is our sincere wish that NYCHAs expressed interest in true and meaningful resident
engagement motivates a shift in priorities that recognizes the importance of resident-led planning
in creating a vibrant and sustainable community for generations to come. Additionally, it is our
desire to maintain open and transparent dialogue that allows for a mutually beneficial partnership
between NYCHA, Wyckoff Gardens residents and community stakeholders. We hope this letter
underscores our and the residents desire to develop a more informed plan for infill development
at Wyckoff Gardens that clearly prioritizes current Wyckoff resident needs in order that real trust
between all parties involved can be built. In the best interest of moving forward with a renewed
sense of priorities, we request a meeting to be scheduled facilitated by FAC and FUREE that
includes NYCHA, elected officials and the TA board of Wyckoff Gardens. We look forward to
continued discussions as we reach towards a goal of improving and preserving public housing for
public housing residents and the future of New York City.

Sincerely,
Michelle de la Uz
Executive Director-Fifth Avenue Committee
Shatia Strother
Program Coordinator- FUREE