“The RAD program has already been tried, tested and proven to be a disaster for tenants in other states across the country … .”
NYCHA. For decades, NYCHA has mismanaged, neglected, and incompetently served residents in public housing developments. Recent audits by the NYC Comptroller illustrate just how severe this managerial crisis is. In total, NYCHA manages 180,000 apartments with an official estimate of 400,000 residents, but unofficial estimates place the total number at above 600,000. The residents of NYCHA have been witnesses to decades of shocking levels of disregard, disrepair, and disinvestment. It is imperative that public housing survives in our city. Saving and revitalizing public housing requires a public solution, not a private one. It requires two important things: NYCHA must be fully funded and NYCHA management must be completely reformed. It is imperative that we preserve public housing as an institution in our city. Public housing works when it is funded and managed with integrity and competence. NYCHA is a municipal agency with an annual $3.5 billion budget. It is appalling to know that basic managerial functions, as the NYC Comptroller audits reveal, have not been in place for decades.
HPD. The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) needs to be both reformed and reorganized. HPD is plagued by managerial negligence and corruption. HPD has a vital mission of preserving the affordable housing stock, yet we have abundant evidence that too many of the preservation programs have high levels of failure and that there have been far too many unaddressed cases of housing corruption within those same programs. HPD is in crisis. It has lost the trust of the people it serves. It does not place tenant or resident empowerment at the center of its work, but it once did. HPD was once an agency that empowered tenants, promoted resident-controlled and resident-owned housing, and that provided effective oversight over housing programs. HPD has lost its course and has deviated from its core mission. It has become an agent for private development. It has become a contributor to housing crisis, not the solution to it. This must change.
DHS. New York City spends over $3 billion annually to address the homelessness problem. That amount has nearly tripled from the $1.3 billion that NYC spent on the problem in 2014, but homelessness has increased during this time. Homelessness has grown by 33% in this time period. Why? New York City’s investment in homelessness must be solutions driven. It currently isn’t solutions driven. We cannot spend $3 billion annually and not solve the homelessness problem. Additionally, the city must take better steps to ensure that the Department of Homeless Services is not targeted by corrupt contractors. There must be protocols and safeguards to ensure that fraudulent schemes like the one involving CCS, a scam contractor who received over $500 million in DOH contracts, do not occur.
Affordable Housing. The central message of my campaign is that the City of New York has an administrative housing crisis of massive proportions and that we must end that crisis. NYCHA, HPD, and the DHS have a combined annual budget of nearly $6 billion that must be managed effectively and transparently. We have an affordable housing crisis and the highest level of homelessness in our city’s history, while we simultaneously have city housing agencies that are plagued by mismanagement, neglect, and corruption. It is time that the New York City Council used its power of oversight to end this aspect of the housing crisis. Our housing agencies must be reformed and must be managed effectively. The future of our city’s economic and social diversity is at stake. We must act now!
Public Epidemic CV-19 Immediate Action:
- Close all NYC Public Schools and convert them into community aid/supply centers.
- NYC should distribute hand-sanitizers, masks, and gloves to all NYCHA developments and to all Senior Citizen buildings throughout the city.
- Issue a citywide moratorium on all civil court proceedings
- Expand social distancing measures by suspending all civic meetings including Tenant Association meetings, Community Gardens groups, and Block Association events.
- Setup information tables at the entrances of every public hospital emergency room to prevent the unnecessary seeking of information or testing by city residents, thus preventing unnecessary strain on our public health system.
- Prevent collateral consequences by taking proactive measures now to ensure ongoing medical services are provided to vulnerable groups like pregnant women and babies, cancer and HIV patients, and children in need of vaccines.
I support the New York Health Act because it would provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker. The Federal Affordable Care Act reduced the number of uninsured New Yorkers by half, from 2 million to 1 million. But there are still people in our city, who go to work every day and have no health insurance. This is unacceptable. I support universal healthcare coverage. Once elected to City Council, I will use my public office to champion for comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker.