Transparency needed on NYCHA ‘fix’
The following is an open letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio:
On Wednesday evening, December 12, Mayor de Blasio announced on TV that he’s getting $24 billion to fix apartments in public housing or New York City Housing Authority. Funding, he said, will come from federal, NY State, NY City, as well as from city land and air rights sold to developers.
I’ve been writing and talking to elected politicians for years about not selling our NY City land because they are only temporary employees elected to administer our property and all necessary services for the well-being of the real persons who reside in NYC.
The land should be rented to developers for 80 to 100 years and air rights should be very well-studied; then, the elected mayor selects qualified persons to verify and/or be sure that all is working well, according to signed contracts before the jobs have been performed.
Mayor de Blasio ends his term in three years and, in his five previous years as mayor he did not show any interest in fixing the NYCHA apartments. If it’s true that he found funds from federal, NY state and city, that should be enough to start the job. His administration has proven to be wrong when selling our city land for the ridiculous value of $50,000, only to see that that buyer sold it to another developer after six months for millions of dollars.
First, we should have published a detailed budget of how the funds will be spent so that we, the public, can keep this administration accountable for a job to be accomplished. No overtime should be allowed by planning two shifts of workers; maybe some should be temporary workers, but by no means actual employees who are near retirement and whose only purpose is to inflate their salaries during their last three-four years of work to also inflate their pensions. (One of the problems with MTA not having enough money to give good service.)
Let’s remember that land that is sold benefits the already millionaires who are killing the workers, retirees and small businesses in NYC. We have to first oppose our land-selling and then regulate the apartments we have and the ones we must build to satisfy the housing needed for us, the residents of New York City. So far the apartments built in NYC are for the millionaires of the world to buy as a way to hide the money they steal from other countries or from non-legal businesses.
Let’s demand that these important matters appear in our voting ballots each November, instead of just letting us know the day after elections or during the holidays about the billions of dollars the mayor, the governor or a councilperson are giving away to somebody before we know the conditions and the real benefits for the taxpayers.
Alicia Zanelli, ST
Who turned out the lights?
I recently moved back to Stuy Town after many years living in another state. I noticed all of these restaurants and how the neighborhood has changed. Sad in a way.
And one night, while walking home, I noticed very little Christmas decorations in the apartment windows. I was struck by the coldness and empty feeling that shouldn’t be at this joyous time of year.
Stuy Town lost a lot of panache and comradery. Sad indeed.
Adrienne Allard, ST