Overcrowding in NYCHA Buildings- Gotta Solution?

An article came out today in the NYTimes highlighting a problem within New York City Housing Authority buildings. Some families  deal with serious overcrowding while others live in apartments enjoying ample space.  Technically, when families receive NYCHA housing, apartments are supposed to be family-size appropriate, but it has not played out this way.  Many families feel trapped in apartments that are too small, and are upset by the perceived inequality taking place.

“They’re holding on to their three-bedroom, so we’re stuck in a two-bedroom,” said ShaMecca Asia, who lived in a two-bedroom in Pomonok Houses with her four daughters, in an apartment crammed with bunk beds, for more than 10 years.

At the same time, many tenants currently living with extra space have lived in their apartments for years, even decades, and consider their NYCHA apartments home. When family members move out and leave behind empty rooms, tenants are supposed to volunteer to change apartments so that larger families can move in- but it’s not so easy.

“We’ve been here for so long that we’re just about buried here,” said Ms. Jones, who has been talking to Community Voices Heard, an advocacy group, about her options. “Naturally we don’t want to go anywhere.”

It’s a tough issue.  Tenants shouldn’t have to leave their homes.  Families also shouldn’t have to live in overcrowded apartments, especially with children.  There needs to be a humane solution in which both parties can get what they deserve.  Any ideas?

To read the NYTimes article, click here.


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