Community Voices Heard (CVH) Applauds NYC's Renewed Commitment to Public Housing
Cautiously Optimistic That Ambitious Plan to Eliminate Backlog of Maintenance & Repair Requests Will Address Long-Term Neglect
EAST HARLEM, NEW YORK, NY (01/31/2013)(readMedia)-- Community Voices Heard members, many of whom are residents in public housing across the five boroughs of NYC, were pleased to hear about Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYCHA Chairman John Rhea's new aggressive plan to address long-standing repair and maintenance backlogs in public housing. CVH members in the Public Housing Preservation & Improvement Campaign have pushed for the city to prioritize this issue over the past few years.
The repurposing of resources to add to the repairs budget is a critical component of the plan. Forty million dollars in recent efficiency cost-savings will clearly provide a significant boost to meet the overwhelming backlog of repairs.
CVH also calls on the City to repurpose the millions of dollars currently tied up in a Memorandum of Understanding with the NY Police Department and the Department of Sanitation. This MOU has been a frustration of public housing residents and community groups for years in that it binds NYCHA into paying the police and sanitation for services that every other landlord in the city gets for "free" - i.e. no other landlord pays extra for such basic city services. In a time when federal operating and capital funds for public housing are on the decline, and fail to cover the basic costs of the critical infrastructure, such unjust payments should be eliminated.
Community Voices Heard has been working with the Teamsters Task Force and District Council 37 to offer suggestions from the resident and worker viewpoints on how to improve NYCHA's efficiency. We are pleased to see some of these recommendations finally lifted up by the Mayor and the Chairman. It is time that the City commit to "Fix Our Homes" and let public housing residents live with the same dignity afforded to other New Yorkers.
In addition to the regular repairs and maintenance backlogs, there are also additional needs in the post-Sandy affected public housing buildings. We hope that the Mayor and NYCHA will take into consideration the need for a real rapid response to the mold issues that have been exacerbated as a result of the hurricane.
NYCHA residents available for interviews
Madelyn Innocent – 212-866-7647, 646-812-4798
Ann Valdez – 347-301-7987
CVH, in partnership with allied organizations, produced the 2011 report titled "A Report Card for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA): Residents' Evaluation of NYCHA and Recommendations for Improvement." The report is the result of a year-long, citywide, participatory research project. Public Housing Organizing groups collected 1,446 report cards from 71 NYCHA developments that asked public housing residents to "grade" NYCHA on issues related to repairs, maintenance and management. The report includes NYCHA's grades, research findings and recommendations for NYCHA to improve programs and policies. Partners on this report included the Community Development Project (CDP), CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), and Mothers on the Move (MOM).
CVH is a membership organization of low-income New Yorkers that organizes to influence policy change around issues that affect members' lives. CVH has chapters in NYC, Yonkers, Newburgh and Poughkeepsie and organizes around a truly affordable housing, a just social safety net, good jobs and access to them, a participatory democracy, and a fair share tax system to fund critical programs for low-income families.