Progressive Caucus Strongly Opposes NYCHA Federal Funding Cuts

FILM.KINGSBOROUGH

Photo: NYC.gov

New York, NY— The New York City Council’s Progressive Caucus vehemently opposes President Trump’s proposed $35 million cuts in federal aid funding from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which represents the largest public housing authority in the country and houses nearly half a million New Yorkers. This is the largest cut NYCHA has seen in five years, and with additional cuts expected to follow, these cuts threaten to destabilize the quality of life of some of our city’s most vulnerable residents. As champions of progressive values in New York City and advocates for New York City’s most vulnerable communities, our members believe every American deserves decent and affordable housing and adequate and quality facilities for public housing tenants remains a top priority for our Caucus. The Progressive Caucus will not stand idly by as the shelter of our city’s most vulnerable residents is destabilized, and will continue to fight on behalf of public housing residents in New York City.

“These cuts will be devastating to NYCHA, and to quality-of-life for our city’s most vulnerable residents, and may be only the beginning.  All New Yorkers deserve a safe and affordable place to live, and it is now our responsibility to ensure that NYCHA can provide this to its residents,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus.

“Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts to public housing will be catastrophic to our NYCHA residents and will wipe out all the efforts made over the past few years to improve the lives of more than 400,000 New Yorkers,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. “Day after day, Trump continues to show that he stands for the elites in our society all while stepping on the backs of every day New Yorkers, just as he did as a businessman. All over the country, evidence shows that public housing desperately needs more funding, not less. But here we are, having to pick up the pieces while the President ignores hard evidence that contradicts what’s in his own head. In New York City, the Progressive Caucus will continue our fight to make lives better for our public housing residents, who deserve to have safe and healthy homes.”

“Public housing has been neglected by the federal government for decades but these cuts to Americas largest public housing agency are drastic and equate to direct assault on the lives of nearly a half million New Yorkers who live in NYCHA developments,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Vice Chair for Policy of the Progressive Caucus. “These irresponsible cuts by the Trump administration will reverberate negatively not only on NYCHA residents but also on our City as a whole for years to come. Trump cannot pay for his campaign promises on the backs of hardworking New Yorkers.”

“The backlog for New York City Housing Authority repairs is already a crisis.  To propose further cuts means not just irresponsibly failing to deal with that crisis, it means actively choosing to make it even worse.  I have constituents who have been forced to live in horrendous conditions, dealing with all manner of leaks, mold, and other threats to their health, safety, and quality of life.  On behalf of those tenants and all those who rely on public housing, these cuts must be resisted in every way possible,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Vice-Chair for Budget Advocacy of the Progressive Caucus.

“These federal budget cuts will remarkably devastate NYCHA on an unprecedented scale and their impact will be felt on the ground by NYCHA’s 400,000 residents who already live with mold, leaks and other horrible conditions. By slashing NYCHA’s resources, which already suffer from a $17 billion deficit, we are putting the lives of thousands of residents at risk. As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing, I’m committed to protecting our City’s public housing stock and will fight these cuts and future actions that can potentially dismantle NYCHA,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing.

“Cutting federal funds to NYCHA is an irresponsible decision made by an under-experienced HUD secretary and his impulsive president. New York City has the largest public housing system and such defunding is a direct attack on the existence of hundreds of thousands of families, elderly and disabled New Yorkers and the working poor. It threatens to undo years of progress NYCHA has made in providing adequate shelter for our most vulnerable. Washington must re-evaluate its budget priorities,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Chair of the Council’s Finance Committee.

“We need to be talking about increasing funding to our public housing developments, not gutting the already meager funding we receive from the federal government,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “I represent the largest amount of public housing in Queens, including the largest public housing development in the United States. These cuts are idiotic and show a complete lack of understanding of the public housing system in the United States.”

“As chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings, I witness firsthand the impact cuts to programs has on families,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams, Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings. “Our job as legislators is that more important now that we are operating in a Trump era, where the Department of Housing and Urban Development is led by a man who doesn’t believe in the core tenets of the agency and the work that it does.”

“This devastating budget cut is yet another demonstration that the Trump administration isn’t interested in representing the interests of our most economically disenfranchised citizens,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “Here in New York City, we have been ramping up our investment in affordable housing, and it is truly disappointing to see that these efforts are not supported at the White House. I stand with my colleagues in the Progressive Caucus in condemning these cuts and calling on the Trump administration to restore all funding to NYCHA.”

“The over 400,000 NYCHA residents in New York City are facing federal funding cuts that threaten urgently needed repairs. Crumbling structures, chronic mold, and failing utilities are constants on NYCHA properties,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “Once again, the President has demonstrated a willingness to harm the most vulnerable people in our communities with senseless policies. We must maintain NYCHA properties in New York City and protect the health and safety of NYCHA residents.”

“At a time when the City is beginning to pull its way out of deficits and backlogs, this cut strikes very close to home,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “The over 400,000 residents of NYCHA buildings, folks already living on tight budgets, will bear the brunt of these drastic and arbitrary cuts. The federal government should take note that these investments help to provide stable homes for so many New Yorkers, some of whom might otherwise have nowhere else to live.”

“The Universal Declaration on Human Rights, drafted in significant part for a nascent United Nations by the great American humanitarian Eleanor Roosevelt, states that ‘[e]veryone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, [and] housing.’ The rollback of funding for public housing that we see from this administration is a denial of this basic human right. Well, I will not support the rollback of housing, on healthcare, or on any of the benefits of the citizenry that we hold dear and that make this country great,” said Council Member Debi Rose.

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About nycprogressives

The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council is dedicated to creating a more just and equal New York City, combating all forms of discrimination, and advancing public policies that offer genuine opportunity to all New Yorkers, especially those who have been left out of our society’s prosperity.
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