A View of the Future

A View of the Future

Betances residents tour Bronxchester to see potential renovations for their own development.

Robert, a long-time Betances resident, snapped photos of everything he saw on a tour of renovations made to Bronxchester Houses. Some of the photos he snapped were of the new outdoor space, the lobby and security desk, laundry room and new elevators. He planned to show them to his mom back home at Betances.

Robert, and a small group of other Betances residents, toured Bronxchester Houses on August 23. The tour was organized by NYCHA’s Department of Community Development and led by C+C Apartment Management, who now manages Bronxchester. Betances is scheduled for renovation through the PACT program, and the tour provided residents with a sense of what is possible for renovations at their development. They were wowed by many of the features, including the laundry room, security guard presence in the lobby, and the new back yard and community space.

PACT is Permanent Affordability Commitment Together, the Authority’s program to protect residents and improve their quality of life by identifying new resources and partnerships to renovate developments in need of major repairs while rent remains capped at 30 percent and residents retain their public housing rights. Under PACT, NYCHA keeps ownership of the land and enters into a long-term lease with developers who make extensive repairs and manage the development.

Robert says he was “a skeptic at first, but I’m more impressed after being on the tour.” He had attended community meetings about possible renovations. “I hope these changes happen, not just for my mom and myself, but for everyone. We need everything done – repairs to the apartment, more safety. I hope this benefits everyone.”

Betances resident Ms. Perkins, who has lived there for 21 years, said it was good to be on the tour because now she can envision the changes. “It’s helpful. Maybe this will have a positive impact, hopefully bring a different feel and allow people to really envision their lives in NYCHA. Our buildings need a lot of repairs and this effort with RAD and NYCHA trying to find money to fix the buildings is a good start.”

During the question and answer part of the tour, the group wanted to know how soon renovations could get started at their development. The next stage includes resident meetings, organized by NYCHA’s Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability (REES) office and its zone partners, to discuss construction and management jobs and job training. Later this year, the developer will be introduced to residents and will take over as the lead on resident engagement on the project. Renovations at Betances will begin in 2018 or 2019.

If you would like to find out more about PACT, please contact 212-306-8433 or e-mail pact@nycha.nyc.gov.

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