BY TRONE DOWD
In the wake of last weeks’ snow storm, elected officials are voicing their dissatisfaction with the way in which the New York City Housing Authority and Mayor Bill de Blasio handled the situation, while one Queens councilman has been dealing with the loss of heat at a borough housing development for more than a week.
A total of 40 members of the City Council co-signed a letter written by Councilman Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx), criticizing the city agency’s response to the lack of heat at various NYCHA properties throughout the city last week.
“We are strongly urging you to propose a capital budget that finally addresses an overwhelming need that has been torturing New Yorkers every winter season: the crisis of failing heating systems in public housing,” the council members wrote in the letter to de Blasio.
The letter acknowledged the federal government’s role in NYCHA’s shortcomings, calling it
“a metaphor for the federal government’s cold indifference to the basic heating needs of NYCHA residents.” However, Torres said that it is the city’s responsibility to ensure that New Yorkers are not freezing in their homes during the coldest months of the year.
“We, as a city, cannot afford to wait for federal funds that will never come while tenants, especially senior citizens, are left freezing to death in their apartments,” Torres wrote. “The city must commit whatever capital funding is necessary for replacing the worst heating systems in public housing. Failing to do so would only perpetuate senseless suffering among NYCHA residents, who have been suffering for far too long with far too little support.
A total of 11 Queens council members signed the letter, including Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica), I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens), Peter Koo (D-Flushing), Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), Karen Kolowitz (D-Forest Hills), Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn) and Robert Holden (D-Glendale).