Broke Housing Authority May Sell Ad Space on Buildings

Residents balk at prospect of alcohol, fast-food ads taking over their homes

Thursday, Sep 22, 2011  |  Updated 8:54 AM EDT
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New York City’s Housing Authority is considering selling ad space on the buildings it owns in an effort to generate revenue for the cash-strapped agency.

Officials recently sent out a note outlining the agency’s interest for consult on selling ad space in the developments that house roughly 400,000 people, reports the Daily News.

Authorities haven’t ruled out selling ad space to fast-food or liquor companies, advertisers that traditionally target lower-income communities, the paper says.

Housing Authority spokeswoman Sheila Stainback called the concept an “exploratory effort” and said residents would be consulted throughout the process.

She declined to give specifics on the prospective ads, but told the News they wouldn’t be eyesores. 

Some of the residents that occupy those buildings fear the ads that would pepper their lobbies and courtyards may send the wrong message to their children and community, depending on the buyer.

“I have grandchildren – I don’t want them walking past a McDonald’s ad every day in their own home,” Millie Cotrich, a resident of the Gov. Alfred E. Smith Houses in lower Manhattan, told the News. 

Still, others feel ads on buildings – whatever they may be trying to sell – would be intrusive.

The Housing Authority operates 334 developments across the five boroughs.

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