The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) says rumors claiming that three Harlem housing projects have been sold to a “billionaire housing developer” and are slated for demolition are not true.
The allegation stems from a WordPress blog post with the headline “Harlem Housing To Be Demolished” that appeared on the internet on Friday. The WordPress account and blog entry is authored by someone who identifies themselves as “Jett Rubenstein” claiming to be a Harlem resident from Boston and getting the information from a “reliable source.”
According to the post, the billionaire developer bought the Polo Grounds Houses, the Alexander Hamilton Houses and the Harlem River Houses with plans to demolish them and build luxury housing.
Only 10 percent of the new housing would be affordable and displaced NYCHA residents would get monthly vouchers and a “small moving stipend.”
Here is the full post:
The blog post has gone viral getting heavy rotation on social media. It had been shared over 10,000 times on Facebook as of Monday afternoon.
In a statement to the AmNews, a NYCHA spokesperson said the rumors are completely false and that the agency has no plans of demolishing any public housing developments. The agency added that there are programs in place to prevent such a thing from happening.
“These rumors are 100% not true and irresponsible,” the statement said. “Every step NYCHA is taking under NextGeneration NYCHA, the Authority’s ten-year strategic plan, is to prevent the demolition and abandonment of public housing like other cities have done. NYCHA does not know the source of these false statements, which are intended to incite little more than panic, but residents can be assured they are completely untrue and baseless.”
The AmNews has reached out to Rubinstein about the allegation.