NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents of the New York City Housing Authority developments were furious earlier this week, after learning that their parking fees jumped in a big way.READ MORE: 'The Loss Of A Hero': NYPD Mourns Death Of 22-Year-Old Officer Jason Rivera
“It’s highway robbery. Just without the gun, that’s it,” Shana Karlsen told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis on Wednesday.
Karlsen and her neighbors at the Bayview Houses in Canarsie, Brooklyn, said the fee to park their cars at the adjacent city housing lot jumped a staggering 400 percent.
“Just because you have a car doesn’t mean you’re rich,” she said.
Starting this month, the fees at 43 city housing lots went from $75 to $340 per year for residents, and $60 to $272 per year for seniors and the disabled — those already living on fixed incomes.
“Somebody is making some money off of it, and it’s not the Housing Authority,” said tenant Leslie Inniss.
Instead, it is a private company, contracted by NYCHA to handle its parking lots in exchange for improvements such as new pavements to fix the potholes, painted lines for assigned spaces, and better lighting.
“These changes to the Resident Parking Program will help ensure cleaner and safer parking lots for all residents; and use of the parking spaces by those with valid permits,” a NYCHA representative said.READ MORE: NYPD Officer Jason Rivera Fatally Shot, Officer Wilbert Mora Critically Injured Responding To Harlem Domestic Dispute
But residents said they doubted the claims about improvements.
“I don’t know how it’s going to be so much better, when you have to pay so much money to park here,” Miranda Sumpter said.
Just to compare, CBS 2 checked at a nearby private parking garage, where the fee tops $13 per day – close to $400 a month.
“Good luck for them,” said parking garage customer Mike Awad. “I wish I could find a way to do the system.”
But while there was not a lot of sympathy from those paying much higher market rates, for Karlsen, who is disabled, “Somebody’s got to say stop already; I mean, enough is enough.”
She said higher parking fees at what is supposed to be low-income housing is a low blow.
The Housing Authority is offering an installment plan to residents, but only for this year.
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