How Monica is making it happen this week

Pix_11.png By Monica Morales

NEW YORK — City officials say 21 public housing developments with 2,400 apartments will get $400 million in renovations, paid for by the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and new federal Section 8 funding.

Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement at Campos Plaza I, a 875-apartment complex on the Lower East Side that recently underwent renovations under the Section 8 plan.

The 2012 initiative, called the Rental Assistance Demonstration, promises to upgrade 15,000 NYCHA apartments by 2025.

“All New Yorkers deserve to live in safe and decent housing, which is why we’ve been investing in NYCHA since the first day of my Administration to reverse the decades of neglect,” de Blasio said. “The City is leveraging every tool available to deliver critically needed repairs without raising the rent. We will never stop fighting to improve the quality of life for NYCHA residents.”

NYCHA will begin resident engagement this summer at the 21 developments across Manhattan and Brooklyn:

Manhattan sites:

  • 335 East 111th Street
  • Manhattanville Rehab (Group 2)
  • Manhattanville Rehab (Group 3)
  • Park Avenue-East 122nd, 123rd Streets
  • Public School 139 (Conversion)
  • Samuel (MHOP) I
  • Samuel (MHOP) II
  • Samuel (MHOP) III
  • Washington Heights Rehab (Groups 1&2)
  • Washington Heights Rehab Phase III
  • Washington Heights Rehab Phase IV (C)
  • Washington Heights Rehab Phase IV (D)
  • Fort Washington Avenue Rehab
  • Grampion

Brooklyn sites:

  • Armstrong I
  • Armstrong II
  • 572 Warren Street
  • Berry Street-South 9th Street
  • Marcy Avenue-Greene Avenue Site A
  • Marcy Avenue-Greene Avenue Site B
  • Weeksville Gardens

When Councilmember Mark Levine asked for donations of clothes, diapers and toys for the 300-plus immigrant children in New York City, he was overwhelmed by the generosity of New Yorkers.

“We are so touched by all the bags and bags donated. It keeps on coming,” Levine’s chief of staff Aya Keefe said.

At first, Levine’s office started collecting and placing items in his district office, but the space quickly became too small.

“This could take over our church, yes, but we don’t mind. It’s a great way for New Yorkers to help,” said Rev. Kevin wright, who opened up Riverside Church in Morningside Heights to store donations.

Now, there is a need for volunteers to sort and deliver these items to the children. If you want to volunteer or give, click here.

PIX11 News hosted a special guest this week on the Monica Makes It Happen Facebook Live show: commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services David Hansell.

He talked about how the 300-plus immigrant children in New York City are doing and how there are 9,000 city children right now who need foster parents.

If you want to become a NYC foster parent, click here.

Watch the full show, here:

...

Devon Hunt has three small children. She said the city told her that her apartment at the Ingersoll Houses in Brooklyn was lead-free. But state inspection teams later found lead.

Tiesha Jones’s daughter Dakota had high levels of lead in the Bronx. She sued the New York City hHousing Authority and won $57 million.

Sherron Paige, who lives in the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn, said her 4-year-old son Kyan had a blood lead level of 12. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no safe blood lead level and anything above level 5 is considered blood poisoning.

PIX11 News wanted to know if there were more sick children.

So in March, PIX11 News filed a Freedom of Information request for correspondences between HUD the federal agency that oversees NYCHA.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney’s Office released an explosive 80-page complaint outlined how NYCHA bosses lied about lead, mold, rats and elevator repairs for years inside thousands of homes.

According to the complaint, 19 children had lead poisoning and that number could be higher.

On Page 3 of the complaint, it reads: “There is every reason to believe the true number of children with lead poisoning is materially higher.”

PIX11 News went through the 600-plus pages from HUD, which include dozens of emails and all the lists of buildings across the city impacted by lead.

“What the U.S. Attorney proved was a kick in the gut and shocked people to the core. There was a systematic cover up at NYCHA everytime our inspectors visited the property,” said Lynne Patton, HUD regional director for New York and New Jersey.

Emails show a growing frustration for information, and one HUD manager asking NYCHA to “...enhance our engagement.”

And an email from a HUD manager to NYCHA mentioning Flint, Mich. “Gentlemen, HUD is doing some sampling of lead based paint testing… This is related to Flint problems and is not related to the media inquiries in NYC.

Since then, the U.S. Attorney’s office seized records from a Long Island City NYCHA headquarters.

Also, Secretary Ben Carson will be visiting NYCHA within the coming weeks.
PIX11 News will be with the Secretary Carson.

A NYCHA spokesperson declined comment on this story.

If you have a story, send a message and upload a video to Monica Morales on Facebook.

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