Notes from info session at Brecht forum w/ Peter Marcuse, Picture the Homeless, and CVH

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Wednesday Nov 30 2011 at Brecht Forum | Info session on NYC housing work at Brecht forum.  Presentations from Community Voices Heard (CVH) and Picture the Homeless.  Led by Peter Marcuse.  Present from Architecture OWS: Greta and Mitch.

This was not an official Architecture OWS meeting or event.  This was a Brecht forum lead by allies of OWS who invited individual members of Architecture OWS to attend a small study session.  The information seems pertinent to Architecture OWS as a whole, so notes are shared below.

LLC exists between NYCHA and Citibank to infuse money for “servicing” public housing.  Money for servicing goes to NYPD for “verticals” ie police raids. Citibank gives fifteen year mortgage for housing to HUD. Pressure on HUD to payoff that mortgage.

Corporations benefiting from large contracts with NYCHA:
Shelter force
Chase processing rents
Verizon doing telcom

Shift from manufacturing base, when capital/industrialists (ie “the 1%”) supported public housing . Now capital is in real estate. Hence privatization.

– infiltration of banks into government decisions
– privatization of housing stock, risk of default, connection to foreclosure crisis
– participatory democracy as (budget) process = proposed alternative [work CVH is launching in 2012]

Third party transfer system. Now empty properties owned by banks. Property treated like stocks. Hoarded. Vacant property.  Difficulty of attacking (private) property.

Picture the Homeless crafted legislation to count vacant buildings : Bill intro 48.

In lieu of Intro 48 passage, Picture the Homeless has undertaken vacancy survey independently.  Results to be released in January.  Hundreds of thousands of vacant NYC housing units.  Picture the Homeless supports squatters rights.


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