Post site reflection #3

Our third site visit to the Farragut houses with the property manager, Ms. Cyriaca Decaille was a success. I got so many of my questions answered and she was very informative with all the answers for all of the questions being asked. This visit will help with my group project a great deal since we are focusing primarily on the current and future developments of NYCHA buildings especially the Farragut buildings and the way of life and living conditions in these buildings. Some of the things I learnt during this visit are as follows:

  • If the empty land is used to build brand new houses and the old buildings are dilapidated crime rates in the area will be reduced and it will encourage other communities of people to go and live in that area and it wouldn’t just be the Farragut houses residents.
  • There are residents sitting on the lobby to protect the buildings from vandalism since they are not always enough security. This is called “resident watch”
  • There are new leaking in the top floors of the buildings and repairs to all the apartments will most half as much it will cost to build an entire new building
  • During the summer they are newly placed recycle bins, LED lights, and all the bulbs were changed
  • There are coming with new ideas to improve the current situation called the next generation NYCHA
  • NYCHA representatives always refer clients to other programs in the case of eviction. They do no not want anyone on the streets. They may refer elderly clients to access a ride or they also have a social services department for issues they cannot handle on the site.
  • They are currently 45 employees The staff members includes maintenance crew which is inside the building, care takers which deals with the grounds and garbage, workers of the main office including manger, assistant manger and secretary.
  • Everyone who works in the NYCHA building needs to take the civil services exam and residents are not allows to work in the office because of sensitive information.
  • Maintenance is always an issue because they need more staff with the amount of repairs that are needed to be done is just impossible.
  • When asked about the crime rates the manager said they has only been a couple of issues
  • To get into one of the Farragut houses NYCHA does not do a credit check, income and background check.
  • They do not accept section 8 vouchers and since they have so many applications at some point they will need to stop applications at some point to re zoom.
  • At one point in history town houses were built and a lot of residents that lived in Farragut houses got into those apartments as long as their credit was on tract and the residents also obtained help on their mortgages
  • Subsidized housing
  • Residents has to sign a one yr. lease
  • No resident has ever been kicked out based on their income. They just need to provide their pay stubs yearly and inform the staff of all the necessary changes such as getting married or unemployment or whether they got a raise or promotion. Residents needs to sign a release from in order to check their income. However if these changes happen in the middle of the year they would not be any changes in their rent.
  • Garbage needs to be properly disposed of and put into the incinerator and not be thrown out of the window.
  • She mentioned that there is another very nice housing complex in Williamsburg but residents hardly move and has been there since it was built.
  • The property utility is very high and it is in the millions
  • If residents wants AC it has to be permanently installed and cannot be taken out. They are also apartment inspection to check if the fire alarms are effectively working. NYCHA has its own parking lot that is 60 spaces for $70 per year.
  • Residents has a designated spot for a flower or vegetable garden and they also get award for the best garden and their hard work
  • No dryers are allowed in the apartments because it is a fire hazard but there is a private owned Laundromat that has a dryer.
  • If residents cannot afford to pay their rents they are referred to other programs such as CAMBA. Residents are referred to CANBA because of nonpayment so they would go to the program and bring the required documents. In addition since NYCHA is federally funded the goal is not to put anyone out but to make referrals.
  • When applying for NYCHA housing residents are allowed to pick the borough but not the specific place they want to live.
  • The manger discussed that there is hardly anywhere for residents to shop and they were promised a supermarket somewhere in or around the navy yard. She also reiterated that change is big and often people feel lost because the rich people is on one side of the neighborhood and the poor is on the other.
  • NYCHA property is tax-free and it depends on the person’s income to be qualified to live in one of the apartments. To be qualified it is 30 % of your gross income and not net. There are two bedroom apartments which are called studio apartments and it goes all the way up to 3,4,5 and 6 bedrooms because in the earlier days people had more children. All utilities are included in the rent and as soon as someone moves out a new person gets called in the office for an interview.
  • Families are not allowed to have BBQs outside on the grass only on family days and they also require permission and fill out additional paper work b because it is a safety concern if someone gets hurt because it is a private property.
  • Basketball tournament needs insurance and forms needs to be filled out in order to play in the playground.
  • Inside of the buildings they are cameras, elevators and wheel chair access she also explained that apartment upgrades are not encourages because as soon as that family leaves they have to put everything back to standard because they do not want to create any conflict as to why some apartments look nicer or are fancier than the other.


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