“Safe at Home?” Examines Public Safety Issues Facing NYCHA Residents
Today, the Bronx Public Housing Task Force—made up of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and City Council Members Ritchie Torres and Vanessa Gibson—issued its report, titled “Safe at Home?” outlining solutions to the numerous safety and quality of life issues currently facing New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants.
The report includes numerous recommendations for NYCHA, including requiring the agency to better address critical repairs, expanding the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program to cover all eligible NYCHA residents, creating mental health and wellness clinics within NYCHA facilities, expanding youth programming options in NYCHA developments and getting young people who live in NYCHA more involved in the well-being of their communities, among others.
The full report can be read at http://on.nyc.gov/2mJRV7h.
“NYCHA tenants must be safe in their own homes, be it from crime or environmental hazards that lurk in their apartments. This report offers well-considered recommendations that NYCHA can implement to manage repairs, foster greater public safety and engage young people in shaping the future of their communities,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Given the ongoing issues facing NYCHA right now, the agency needs to take concrete steps towards getting its house in order and ensuring the health and safety of its residents. Adopting the recommendations in this report would help make that happen. I want to thank my colleagues District Attorney Clark and Council members Gibson and Torres, as well as the numerous stakeholders and NYCHA residents who took part in this process, for their efforts on behalf of this task force.”
“The findings of this report make it clear that NYCHA is in need of immediate reforms from the ground up,” said City Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing. The recommendations offered here can improve the quality of life for all residents and ensure that public safety is maintained at all developments. I thank the Borough President, District Attorney Clark and Council Member Gibson for working with me to improve NYCHA and ensure they families have safe homes.”
“NYCHA residents deserve to live in safe communities. I am proud to join Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Chair of the Committee on Public Housing Ritchie Torres, and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark in releasing this important report detailing the very real safety issues Bronx NYCHA residents face and step-by-step recommendations for meaningful community improvement,” said City Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Safety. “By combining brick and mortar improvements with tenant empowerment and youth development, we believe this report presents a holistic approach to community safety that we strongly urge the City of New York to adopt. On behalf of the residents of public housing in District 16, I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this Task Force to ensure that tenants’ priorities remain at the forefront of our discussions. My gratitude to my colleagues for their partnership on this important topic and my appreciation to all the residents who attended our public hearings and voiced their concerns. We heard you loud and clear and today’s report is reflective of our commitment to ensure that all residents of public housing live in safer communities.”
In December 2015, Borough President Diaz announced that he would convene a task force to study the issue of public safety in public housing in The Bronx.
The new task force would work with NYCHA tenants, law enforcement agencies, elected officials, community organizations and others to focus on solutions to crime and public safety issues that affect the borough’s NYCHA developments. The task force officially launched in January 2016, with City Council Members Gibson and Torres as its inaugural members. District Attorney Clark would also join the task force in 2016.
In addition to meetings with numerous stakeholders, the task force also solicited direct input from public housing tenants in The Bronx through a survey as well as three public hearings over the past year.