City Council members Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez, along with their uptown colleague, Melissa Mark-Viverito, are introducing two proposed resolutions today focused on NYCHA, the New York City Housing Authority. The first resolution calls on NYCHA to “withdraw from a memorandum of understanding” requiring the agency to pay the police department $73 million for security within the city’s public housing developments. The second resolution asks the housing authority to hold off on a plan to lease property for market rate development until tenants have acquired legal and technical representation.
NYCHA plans to issue “requests for proposals” at eight housing complexes throughout Manhattan, five of them on the Lower East Side. The proposal is meant to raise millions of dollars for desperately needed repairs and maintenance. While most elected officials agree with the decision to lease NYCHA property, they and tenants argue that the housing authority has moved too fast and has failed to adequately solicit feedback from residents.
For many years, tenants have been outraged about the NYPD payments. The Council members say the money should be diverted to maintenance needs in public housing complexes citywide. “Our priority must be to find the money in the budget now, not in the future.,” Chin said in a press release. “And in the meantime, NYCHA must come to the table for a real, substantive conversation with the residents about how to pay for future needs. NYCHA residents are our city’s experts on NYCHA and the city ignores their knowledge at great cost to the city.”
The City Council meets this afternoon. Public housing advocates are gathering at City Hall right now for a large rally.