Position Paper on Supportive Housing and other statements

This will be the place we will put the comments from the community. If you spoke out and what to send us the statement, we will upload. Email to fipna@fipna.org. Thank you

Position Statement on the Proposed Urban Pathway

Statement Contextual Design

Citywide Statement of Need page 11, 12 and 17

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3 responses to “Position Paper on Supportive Housing and other statements”

  1. Kristin Hart

    My name is Kristin Hart, and I live on Cannon Place across the street from the site. I have two small children.

    This project is too big for our community. This building will loom high above a narrow, fragile, one-way street lined with single family homes—blocking air, light, and views—undermining the neighborhood’s aesthetics and leaving a disastrous footprint on the landscape. It will destabilize our community, make our homes more difficult to sell and less desirable to new families, and import social problems on a scale that we cannot absorb. Oh, and it will use our money doing it.

    This is a historic neighborhood. (UP doesn’t care) Most of you here tonight know why our street is called Cannon. You know that this very spot was the site of a revolutionary fort, and that when Olmsted designed our streets he created a plan for colonial-style homes to honor that legacy which is still in evidence today; he also designed the curvilinear streets to insure it was always going to be residential with no truck or bus through way. When the Giles mansion was destroyed in 1959, amateur archeologists unearthed the fort walls and children played there, and some people in this room remember that.

    How do I know? Because you told me. Because the families never left. Sholom Aleichem (which could be cast in shadow), Amalgamated, and Park Reservoir were among the first coops in the city—this was the real workforce housing, good homes for families—and their spirit of community still thrives today. Why? Because the families never left.

    This is not the affordable housing that we need. Have we learned nothing about urban planning? About studying the LONG-TERM impact on communities? About what makes a neighborhood viable and what can kill it?

    Urban Pathways has pointed us toward the 2008 Furman study. It is about as objective and unbiased as a drug study funded by a pharmaceutical company.

    We ask you to look instead at a study commissioned by the Urban Institute, which shows that only the supportive housing sites located in very low-value neighborhoods show positive price impacts. The higher-value, high homeownership neighborhoods show a clear negative effect.

    This is common sense. If you put a 90 unit supportive housing facility in Scarsdale, we could be pretty sure the property values within 1000 feet would go down.
    The Urban Institute study also looks at crime and supportive housing, and identifies a strong, direct correlation between rates of disorderly conduct and 500 foot proximity to a supportive site. They found it’s not the clientele, but the scale that matters. Large scale projects appear to critically erode the surrounding communities’ sense of collective efficacy. (Collective efficacy is the social cohesion present among neighbors.) It is simply too much for the neighborhood to absorb.

    This project is too big for our neighborhood.

  2. Rey Paulino

    Everyone speaks that this project is too big and that we want to retain the character of the neighborhood. Let’s talk about the “real problem”. This new building will come with the amount of crime that Kingsbridge has never seen. If this project is approved, we might as well pack and move. I feel very safe in this neighborhood right now and I would hate to have to walk in a “war zone” in the near future.

  3. Kristin

    I have read a lot of studies about the impact of supportive housing on communities and I feel 100% certain that the SCALE of the facility proposed by Urban Pathways will indeed bring crime to our now-viable neighborhood. I will go further: it will undermine everything that makes our neighborhood work.

    Studies show that small-scale facilities (like the group homes we have all around us without even noticing) do not undermine neighborhoods. But large-scale facilities do.
    They undermine a community’s sense of “collective efficacy.” Collective efficacy is what separates viable neighborhoods from dysfunctional ones.

    When collective efficacy disappears, people feel powerless; they feel they can no longer exert control over their surroundings, and so they give up. They either leave or focus on a smaller unit that they can control– in other words, they shift their focus and care only about their own families.

    This would be tragic.

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