Metro IAF leaders in front of the Federal Courthouse on 9/13/19 calling for the Ombudsperson’s appointment and ventilation repair.
On September 19, the judge supervising Metro IAF NY’s mold focused federal court consent decree with NYCHA agreed to appoint our choice of an Ombudsperson, Cesar De Castro. Mr. De Castro will have the power to force NYCHA to properly fix mold and leaks hire independent contractors at NYCHA’s expense when they fail to do so. This will begin in the Jefferson Houses in East Harlem and rolling out citywide as soon as possible. Tenants will finally have an ally with court backed authority who can hold NYCHA accountable.
This came from years of work by Metro IAF’s public housing leaders to highlight the fact that most tenants still have seen no real improvement in mold remediation and the push for change. Most recently, on 9/13/19, we held a press conference with Council Member Ritchie Torres outside of the Federal Courthouse where we called for the appointment of the ombudsman and for NYCHA to immediately spend the $50 million in ventilation repair funds that we pushed them to allocate.
Given this development, we now have more potential than ever to hold NYCHA accountable to make New York City’s public housing a decent place to live for all tenants.
Editorial Opinion: New York’s Public Housing Isn’t Getting Better
On July 30th, the NY Times published an Editorial laying out the ongoing problems in New York City’s public housing. This was informed by interviews with several Metro IAF NY tenant leaders, including Bernard Smith from South Bronx Churches who is quoted in the editorial.