“The retail question is huge,” the executive director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, Jerilyn Perine, a longtime supporter of public housing, said. “NYCHA is still being driven by the bad architectural concepts of the 1960s.” As the city’s housing commissioner in the first Bloomberg administration, Ms. Perine encouraged NYCHA to include retail in its new developments. “I couldn’t get them to budge,” she said. “On 5th Street and Avenue C they were designing a project to obliterate the retail strip. They said, ‘The federal government won’t pay for retail, so we won’t design it that way.'”