Ocean Bay Houses was the first development in NYC to convert through the RAD/PACT program. As a result, there have been more inquiries at Ocean Bay than elsewhere, and many of these inquiries highlight, often among other things, the increased rate of evictions at Ocean Bay Houses.
More conclusively, perhaps, was the bombshell reporting with City Limits with support from the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project that found that between January 2017 and February 2019, tenant turnover at Ocean Bay skyrocketed to 80, more than twice the second highest figure.
However, this figure is challenged by other separate inquires and data collection by NYCHA, Human Rights Watch and Enterprise Community Partners.
Discrepancies Noted by Human Rights Watch
Examining NYCHA’s data for six PACT developments, Human Rights Watch found the eviction rates at four of the properties stayed about the same once they went into the program. But two developments — Ocean Bay Bayside in Far Rockaway, Queens, and Betances in the South Bronx — showed preliminary evidence of eviction numbers that jumped once they went into RAD.
Ocean Bay averaged 10.9 annual evictions in the four and a half years under NYCHA pre-conversion and 16 annual evictions in the three years since, from its 2017 conversion through the statewide eviction moratorium that went into effect in March 2020.
Betances reported 13 evictions in the first 16 months after its conversion in November 2018, compared to 10 evictions in the 2.5 years prior under NYCHA management. That’s a jump in monthly eviction rate from .33 to .72.
The group’s report quoted NYCHA officials stating “most” of Ocean Bay’s evictions under PACT were due to tenants abandoning their homes after refusing to sign leases with the new operators, Wavecrest Management. But Wavecrest reported only six of the 50 evictions there were due to abandonment.
The Human Rights Watch report acknowledged that the eviction data NYCHA provided so far is not adequate “to draw conclusions about whether PACT conversions are generally likely to lead to more evictions.”
But, the report argues, the higher rates at Ocean Bay and Betances “offer a cautionary tale about ways in which the process of conversion could lead to negative impacts on housing rights if inadequate safeguards and oversight aren’t built into the program.”
Discrepancies Noted by Enterprise Community Partners
Their report has been removed from online, but a hard copy is retained by our research team and an image of the table their created to show the discrepanices will be added. In short, and in line with Human Right Watch, they found that NYCHA was greatly under-counting evictions.