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Chin, Mendez: NYCHA Should Suspend Leasing Plan, Stop NYPD Payments

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File photo; Margaret Chin with Rosie Mendez; CB3 Chairperson Gigi Li also pictured.
File photo; Margaret Chin with Rosie Mendez; CB3 Chairperson Gigi Li also pictured.

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.

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  1. Good for Council Members Chin and Mendez and the CB Board. There are too many unanswered questions. Funds that languish, payments to NYPD for protection that every NYer is entitled to, 10 million to Boston consultants (was the product worth 10 million? How did it inform NYCHA? Was information acted upon? Why were Rhea’s old employers, whose specialty is helping public resources be privatized, used when they had almost no experience? etc), why were backlogged repair orders cancelled when they’d never been tended to? Should parking spots be preserved? How specifically will this help build and maintain a safer community?

    This would be an enormous undertaking with many unknown consequences -and no guarantee of solving the problem it purports to fix.

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