Tenants need more than Cuomo’s photo-op: Williams

Tenants need more than Cuomo’s photo-op: Williams
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his 2018 executive state budget proposal during a news conference at the Clark Auditorium in Albany, N.Y., Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.
Associated Press / Hans Pennink, File

While commending Gov. Andrew Cuomo for finally seeing on Monday a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) development, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) said NYCHA tenants who are struggling everyday need more than a photo-op.

The governor on Monday toured NYCHA’s Jackson Houses in the Bronx.

Williams, who is campaigning for Lt. Governor of the State, said what NYCHA needs is “crucial funding from the state.”

Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, noted that Cuomo was touring a NYCHA complex “for the first time in recent memory, after seven years in office.”

“He spoke today of the ‘neglect’ toward the housing, and it is certainly clear that NYCHA has been neglected,” Williams said. “It is clear that the city’s performance has been substandard, with many questions unanswered. It is also clear that for years, the state could have been a better partner and provided much needed support.

“NYCHA desperately needs the financial support of state government to provide relief for thousands of New Yorkers who are living in abhorrent and unsafe conditions,” Williams added. “It does not need political games and one-upsmanship. In all of the jockeying for position, tenants in need are left behind.

“This is a course that must be corrected for the safety, well-being, and dignity of New Yorkers,” he continued. “Here in New York City and across the state, we are facing an affordable housing and homelessness crisis, and meaningful solutions which provide homes with satisfactory living conditions will require a level of investment that the governor has been unwilling to commit in the past.”

Williams said there are “real, concrete steps that the state can take, including releasing millions in allocated funds, and expediting work on projects that have already been funded, or simply allowing the use of design build.

“New York State can and must be a real partner in improving NYCHA, but NYCHA funding directly from the state has fallen significantly under this governor,” he said. “I truly hope that the next time an elected official takes a publicity tour, they also bring with them a check.”

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