BROOKLYN, NEW YORK (September 16, 2022) — Yesterday evening, New York City Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez and non-profit Communities Resist were joined by 30 volunteers from St. Nicks Alliance, UNO, Los Sures and representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, State Senator Julia Salazar, Assemblymember Maritza Davila and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso for a Day of Action at the Bushwick/Hylan NYCHA Developments in an effort to organize tenants who are facing unlivable and undignified conditions.
In the two hours spent doorknocking two buildings in the development, volunteers knocked on 300 doors and spoke directly with 67 tenants that are experiencing significant problems of leaks, mold, rodents, and exposed walls. Literature was left at every door, and the Council Office expects to receive more complaints in the next few weeks.
For over two years, at least 100 identified units, representing more residents, have been experiencing leaks and significant water damage, exposure to mold and asbestos, and inadequate repairs that leave apartments without functional kitchens, flooring, bathrooms, or full use of their homes. The leak issue is affecting not only residents’ apartments but also common areas, such as the hallways and NYCHA storage rooms, which then pose additional safety issues for residents. Residents have submitted numerous repair requests and have received no resolution, sometimes going on for years at a time. Repair requests submitted by NYCHA tenants go through the MyNYCHA portal, which does not have the same transparency as 311 complaints to HPD and DOB, nor do those agencies have sweeping jurisdiction over NYCHA issues.
The Day of Action is the result of multiple attempts from Council Member Gutiérrez’s office to work with NYCHA leadership to address these issues, including a press conference in May, a detailed outline of repairs needed by tenants delivered to NYCHA, and numerous communications to NYCHA that have gone substantively unanswered. Very few actions have been taken by NYCHA and their communication has been consistently insufficient.
Organizing tenants to understand the breadth and depth of these issues, and connecting these tenants with one another, is the first step in Council Member Gutiérrez’s larger approach to demand NYCHA and the City address the issues in their public housing.