A Letter to Mayor de Blasio on the Importance of Budget Commitments to NYCHA

The Real Affordability for All (RAFA) Coalition forwarded the letter below to Mayor de Blasio urging him to make several strategic, long-range budget commitments to NYCHA and its residents.  To date, the letter is signed by the Citywide Council of Presidents (CCOP) and 32 public housing resident associations.  In addition, a wide array of advocacy, community, and labor organizations have added their names to the letter. We expect the list to grow in the coming weeks.

 

April 29th, 2015

Honorable Bill de Blasio
Office of the Mayor
New York City Hall
New York, New York 10007

Re: Budget Commitments to NYCHA

Dear Mayor de Blasio:

We—the undersigned resident, advocacy, community, and labor organizations—thank you for your commitment to the future of our city’s public housing and its residents. You demonstrated that commitment when you terminated the annual payments for police services that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) had been required to make since 1995. 

Unfortunately, NYCHA’s needs are far more extensive—with a $99 million operating deficit this year and an estimated $15 billion backlog in major capital improvements.  No one knows better what these numbers mean than the half-million NYCHA residents who daily struggle with accelerating deterioration, slow or deferred repairs, and persistent mold.

This is a crucial moment for NYCHA.  In early May, weeks away, a NextGeneration NYCHA Plan will be put forward by the City to restore and sustain our public housing. Your budget commitments will be critical in assuring that future. We urge you to meet the challenge with a budget that addresses NYCHA’s ongoing capital and operating needs.  Specifically, we ask you to:

  • Commit $100 million annually in NYC capital funds over the next 10 years to major improvements in NYCHA buildings. The state’s capital commitment of $100 million this year should be matched.  However, both the state and the city will need to make a long-term capital investment in restoring NYCHA.
     
  • Dedicate $400 million in projected Battery Park City excess revenues over the next 10 years to help restore NYCHA buildings.  This will mean forging an agreement with the Governor to direct those revenues, which were originally intended to address affordable housing needs across the city. For at least the next ten years, they need to be directed to NYCHA.
     
  • Terminate the $32 million PILOT payments (in lieu of property taxes) NYCHA is required to make each year to the city.  NYCHA should be included among nonprofit housing providers, hospitals, houses of worship, museums, universities and other institutions that are exempt from property taxes. These funds will augment the limited, inadequate operating resources NYCHA receives from Washington.


Your leadership in sustaining NYCHA and restoring decent living conditions to its residents is desperately needed.  We urge you to make New York City once again a model of public housing that works, one that serves as a national example for other cities and states.

 

Signed by:     (List in formation)

Resident Organizations

Citywide Council of Presidents (CCOP)
1100 Teller Avenue Houses Resident Association, Bronx
1154 College Avenue Houses Resident Association, Bronx
1162 Washington Avenue Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Adams Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Amsterdam Houses Resident Association, Manhattan
Baruch Houses Resident Association, Manhattan
Claremont Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Clay Avenue Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Findlay Avenue Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Forest Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Fulton Houses Resident Association, Manhattan
Glenwood Houses Resident Association, Brooklyn
Grant Houses Resident Association, Manhattan
Highbridge Gardens Resident Association, Bronx
Jackson Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Jacob Riis Houses Resident Association, Manhattan
Johnson Houses Resident Association, Manhattan
Lincoln Houses Resident Association, Manhattan
Millbrook Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Mitchel Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Morrisania Air Rights Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Patterson Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Rutgers Houses Resident Association, Manhattan
Sackwern Houses Resident Association, Bronx
Smith Houses Resident Association, Manhattan
Stephen Wise Towers Resident Association, Manhattan
Taft Rehab Houses Resident Association, Manhattan
Teller Avenue Resident Association, Bronx
Union Avenue (950) Resident Association, Bronx
Union Avenue Consolidation—Site 402—Resident Association, Bronx
Vladeck Houses Resident Association, Manhattan
Webster/Morrisania Houses Resident Association, Bronx

Advocacy, Community, and Labor Organizations

The Black Institute
Church of the Open Door, Brooklyn
Citizens Committee for Children of New York
Community Board 12, Manhattan
Community Development Project, Urban Justice Center
Community Service Society (CSS)
Community Voices Heard
District Council 37, AFSCME-AFL-CIO
Faith in New York
Families United for Racial & Economic Equality (FUREE)
Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES)
Legal Aid Society
NYC Coalition for the Homeless
New York Communities for Change
Safety Net Project, Urban Justice Center
Teamsters Local 237 City Employees Union
Tenants and Neighbors
Tenants Political Action Committee
United Neighborhood Houses
Vocal-NY
Women’s City Club of New York 


c.c.
Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, City Hall
Shola Olatoye, Chair and Chief Executive, New York City Housing Authority
Michael DeLoach, City Hall

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