NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The bitter feud between Mayor Bill de Blasio and one of President Donald Trump’s top aides escalated Friday.
Housing and Urban Development Director Lynne Patton shined the spotlight on another NYCHA nightmare, reports CBS2’s Marcia Kramer.
The saying “step on a crack, break your mother’s back” took on new meaning for NYCHA resident Ramona Rosa, 76, who stepped on a debris-filled crack at her Staten Island public housing project and broke her arm.
Complaints to fix it apparently went ignored.
“I go to the backyard to walk the dog, something in the floor, I fall on the floor, I broke my hand, I broke my face,” she said.
“It’s a section that should have been closed off,” said Tenant President Chuck Ayr.
Chuck and Rosa are among dozens of residents of the New Lane Shores public housing complex for senior citizens taking their complaints about NYCHA directly to the top, HUD’s Patton.
“It’s heartbreaking, you know, when seniors fall. It’s debilitating – sometimes life-altering,” said Patton. “It’s inexcusable and can’t happen.”
Patton, who has been on a tour of NYCHA facilities for the past month, was with Staten Island assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.
“There’s an opportunity to put pressure on the mayor to do what’s right for these residents,” she said. “There’s a tremendous issue with mice, with roaches, with bed bugs – very inhuman for people to live in these conditions.”
For Patton, it was also another opportunity to slam “on-the-road” Mayor Bill de Blasio who has been prancing around the country, testing the 2020 presidential waters. Patton has lots of questions about what the city does with all the money it gets from Washington at a rate of $30 million a week.
“Where is it going? Why are so many people at NYCHA making more than $200,000? I don’t even make more than $200,000,” said Patton. “Why are people not getting the repairs that they need?”
In response to de Blasio saying the charges are “false, false, false,” Patton paraphrased Shakespeare and said, “Methinks thou doth protest too much.”
“The mayor has the audacity to criticize a women who is actually going and doing a job he won’t do, going to various buildings and speaking the the people who live here,” said Malliotakis.
“At least she’s here, this guy’s in North Carolina, he’s in South Carolina, he’s in New Hampshire, he’s in Florida – he should be here.”
The mayor responded to Patton’s latest broadside through a spokesperson, who said: “We’re not auditioning for Lynne Patton’s dream reality TV show. The Mayor is focused on protecting NYCHA residents from the divestment and neglect of Ms. Patton and President Trump.”