NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City public housing tenants have launched a campaign to pressure the mayor to come up with more funding to fix the unsafe, unsanitary conditions in complexes across the city.
As CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, they’re racing to beat the city’s end-of-June budget deadline.
The water leaking into Norma Concepion’s apartment at the Breukelen Houses in East New York is so bad, when she touched the bathroom wall Monday, the plaster fell off, Kramer reported. Mold was all-too visible underneath.
“I shouldn’t be living like this. Look how disgusting this is,” she said.
The mold is all over the apartment and makes it difficult for her son to live there, because he has asthma.
“I get constant leaks all day every day,” she said.
Mold is just one of the many stomach-turning conditions at the Breukelen Houses and other New York City Housing Authority complexes – from roaches and rats, to one apartment where you can’t put a lightbulb in the socket because it sparks
Because of these conditions, NYCHA tenants launched a campaign to get Mayor Bill de Blasio to agree to a City Council demand to add more money to the city budget for public housing. The City Council wants $2.45 billion for NYCHA, including $950 million for boiler repairs and $500 million to begin construction of 15,000 new apartments for seniors on NYCHA land.
Kramer asked Conception whether she thinks de Blasio understands the problem.
“No, because he doesn’t have to live like this. If he had to live like this, then maybe,” she replied. “Maybe we should stick him in here for a few months, and then see him live like this.”
“Mayor de Blasio, put your money where your mouth is,” said Rev. Derrick Henderson, of St. Paul’s Baptist Church.
The mayor has less than two months to make a decision about adding new money to help NYCHA.
Tenant groups say the city could build senior housing on parking lots at NYCHA complexes all over the city.