FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Michael Higgins Jr.
March 11, 2019 Michael@furee.org
Albany, NY – NYCHA resident leaders and member organization of the NYCHA Land & Healthy Homes Coalition from across the city are converging at the Capitol to demand the inclusion of allocations for the housing authority in the FY 2020 state budget to be finalized by March 31st. In light of the numerous scandals which have placed the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) under a federally appointed monitor at the conclusion of negotiations between the City of New York and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the city has agreed to allocate approximately $2 billion in capital needs over the next 8 years. Residents and the coalition demand that Governor Cuomo and state legislators make the following commitments to support the continued viability of NYCHA as the most affordable housing in New York City.
- 5-year, funding capital plan in order to protect the health and well-being of New York City Public Housing Residents. We are calling on the State Legislature to a push for for a $10 billion dollar commitment from the state over 5 years invested into improving the infrastructure of NYCHA developments that contribute to health issues such as mold, pests and unreliable water boilers for heat.
- Issue an executive order to immediately release the $450 million in already appropriated funds (FY17 $200 million, FY19 $250 million) promised to residents, to make repairs and upgrades for critical capital needs.
- Create legally binding structures to allow residents in NYCHA to have an active role in deciding where the money goes before funds are released.
“We act in solidarity with all NYCHA residents across NYC because no matter your nationality, race or income level, we all have one thing in common: we all deserve living in decent and healthy homes.
There is no reason why many public housing residents are living in inhumane conditions. For far too long, 400,000+ New Yorkers have been enduring unjust living conditions where leaky roofs, mold, lead, pests, broken elevators, and faulty heating systems have become the norm. We mobilize to Albany to demand the Governor and NYS officials to commit to funding NYCHA for the next 10 years and ensure tenant oversight on the Authority’s operations and policies. Today, we are fighting to raise the standard housing and to preserve NYCHA for future generations.”
– WE ACT for Environmental Justice: Healthy Homes Working Group Members
In April 2018 during his re-election campaign, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency for all NYCHA developments. Within this order, he requested that an “independent emergency manager” be selected within the following 60 days to oversee the development and completion of a “comprehensive emergency remediation plan” as a stipulation to the release of the $250 million allocated to NYCHA for FY 2019 and earmarks from previous years. In response to the announcement of a federal lawsuit enacted by the Department of Justice against NYCHA, the governor rescinded his executive order to allow the lawsuit to define the terms under which the housing authority would need to address substantial repair needs in order to maintain its continued self-governance. Despite negotiations between the city and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to soon be finalized, state allocations have yet to be released to the authority, nor was there any funding commitment to NYCHA in the preliminary and edited budgets for FY 2020 released by the office of Governor Cuomo.
“Governor Cuomo needs to listen to us and make a real commitment to preserving NYCHA for the long-haul. Residents say: release the $450 million dollars!”
– Aixa Torres, GOLES Member and Resident Association President of Alfred E Smith Houses
The NYCHA Land & Healthy Homes Coalition is a group comprised of the following organizations working with public housing residents to preserve the financial and environmental viability of their homes and demand transparency for current government initiatives planned with public land within their developments.
St. Nicks Alliance (SNA) is a nonprofit community development organization serving low- to moderate-income North Brooklyn residents.
Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) is a member led Brooklyn-based multiracial program of Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) led by mostly women of color.
WE ACT for Environmental Justice (WEACT) has a mission to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices.
Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) serves, engages, and empowers low- and moderate-income residents of the LES/Loisaida, specifically people of color, through community organizing, public education, direct services, community-based participatory research, and coalition building.