Democratic candidates Mathylde Frontus and Ethan Lustig-Elgrably for the 46th Assembly district covering Coney Island, Gravesend, parts of Bay Ridge and Dyler Heights and a sliver of Brighton Beach, separately took stands advocating for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants last week.
There are nine NYCHA developments including more than 40 buildings with a little less than 10,000 residents. Almost all of the developments saw Hurricane Sandy damage in 2012 with several of the developments still not made whole from the damage, along with NYCHA related issues such as lead poisoning, mold, and faulty elevators.
“This NYCHA scandal has become the Flint, Michigan of our city. Our government on the federal, state, and local level is responsible for hundreds of children with lead poisoning, asthma and a host of other health issues which have been ignored. We are calling on our elected leaders to solve this problem,” said Frontus at a press conference Friday on West 35th Street and Surf Avenue in front of NYCHA’s O’Dwyer Gardens development.
Tony Herbert, founder and president of Housing Residents First, a new political party made up mainly of public housing residents across the state, was also at the press conference and is a supporter of Frontus.
“What has happened to residents in public housing is criminal. People are lying to the federal government, so they can make themselves look good and create political collateral. It is my position along with Housing Residents First that we will be calling on the Attorney General to step up their investigation and identify those who have lied and committed crimes against public housing residents,” said Herbert.
Meanwhile, Lustig-Elgrably last week condemned NYCHA’s leadership after reports that the authority is not in compliance with federal laws and guidance on mold, overtime spending, and labor and contracting practices.
“There seems to be no end in sight for NYCHA leaders’ failures, and NYCHA residents deserve to know the truth, but even more importantly, they deserve safe homes. By failing to comply with federal regulations for the second year in a row, NYCHA leadership confirms what we already know – they are unprepared and unwilling to do what it takes to keep residents safe and the authority functioning. They should be ashamed, and we need our city leaders to take action to hold NYCHA leadership accountable,” said Lutig-Elgrably in a statement.
“Here in Southern Brooklyn, we have seen these failings firsthand, as it took years for our NYCHA developments to be repaired following Hurricane Sandy and today there are still major infrastructure problems, including lead. I have pledged to create repair committees to form partnerships with tenant leaders and elected officials to streamline communication, and I am committed to doing everything I can in the assembly to support our NYCHA residents,” he added.
The primary is on Sept. 13.