Citywide Call from NYCHA Residents
Contact: RedHookPeoplesPress@gmail.com, (347) 201-3356
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012–9:00am to 11:00am
Address: 250 Broadway
New York City, New York 10007
When Hurricane Sandy slammed NYC, hundreds of thousands were left without power, heat,
and running water; NYCHA did not respond for a week, and to this day many public housing
residents remain without basic services. On November 19th, exactly three weeks after the
stormwaters swelled, NYCHA finally held its first hearing on the matter, in Red Hook.
As NYCHA lauded its own response, one woman asked why the first time she saw a NYCHA
official at her door was when a representative knocked to inform her of the November 19th
hearing. Hands high in the air, voices pitched, residents stood up and without exception decried
the board’s lack of swift response, concern, or accountability to their severe living conditions.
“They’re telling us nothing, they’re wasting our time,” said one resident as she left.
“When Obama won, I didn’t hear any jubilation—because the projects were dark,” noted
Residents agreed that local Red Hook residents should be employed during the rebuilding
process. As one person exclaimed, “If you’re talking about rebuilding anywhere in Red Hook,
you need to rebuild everywhere in Red Hook,” all nodded; and another added, “We need a
guarantee that we’re not going to suffer like this again.”Dozens of others left the hearing midway in disgust, heading instead to a Red Hook community
assembly, organized by participants of various Red Hook recovery efforts and Occupy Sandy,
just down the street.
“How are we supposed to buy food and Christmas presents?” said one neighbor, “We need a
rent credit for now, not January 1st.”
“No services, no rent,” another affirmed.
After about an hour, 50-some Red Hook residents had come to consensus, putting out a call for
NYCHA residents from Red Hook and across the city to gather at NYCHA’s front doors and
there demand cancellation of 2 months’ rent.
This assembly of Red Hook NYCHA residents invites all NYCHA residents across NYC, as well
as allies of affordable housing and community justice, to come together on November 27th to
make the following demands:
*Immediately: 2 month rent credit for November and December (speed up and extend NYCHA’s
promised rent credit for January).
*Long-term (to be added to): Hold moratorium on evictions. Increase and ensure sufficient
federal disaster relief funding to NYCHA. Replace NYCHA board with a community-led board.
Employ NYCHA residents for intensive building repairs instead of outsourcing jobs. Implement
long-term alternative power and weather-prepared solutions. Enact general accountability and
transparency to residents.
*Next step: Pressure NYCHA board meeting on December 5, 10am, same location.
Join your neighbors across NYC on November 27th as we call for real changes at NYCHA!