Tag Archives: NYCHA

Unhappy Housing Authority residents offered payment plan for new parking spots


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Rory Lancman

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is offering an installment plan to ease parking rate hikes on burdened drivers.

“Increases are a way of life, but if it’s falling on the residents, at least give us ample time to prepare for this increase,” said Craig Kinsey, president of the James A. Bland Resident Association. “Not to give these residents enough time to pay—it was totally unheard of, insensitive and immoral.”

NYCHA increased parking costs this year for residents paying for unreserved spaces. Costs went up to $265 for most drivers, $212 for seniors and a whopping $500 for on-site employees.

NYCHA spokesperson Zodet Negrón the agency is getting rid of unreserved parking lots and changing them to reserved ones starting May 1.

She said the shift, which will designate a specific spot for each driver, will improve safety and make enforcement easier.

Conversion plans were released last December, with notifications reaching residents in March and April, according to the agency. But residents in the borough’s two NYCHA houses said authorities did not give them enough time to make payments.

“My son is going to college. I’m paying deposit fees for tuition, deposit fees for room and board,” said Monica Corbett, president of the Pomonok Residents Association. “I’d be stuck if I had to choose between my son’s education and parking fees. I’d be parking on the street.”

Drivers in 43 developments throughout the city now have the option to pay in four installments instead of in full.

The first payment is due April 30.

The installment plan is only available this year for residents who have not yet paid the lump sum.

“It’s better than paying all at once,” Corbett said. “It’s a new avenue for the Housing Authority. But sometimes when you don’t include the major stakeholders, things get lost in translation.”

NYCHA began a new partnership with Greystone Parking Services in March. The payment plan was offered “in response to concerns expressed by many residents,” a spokesperson said.

Kinsey lambasted the agency, saying NYCHA should have included residents in earlier discussions.

“You put a band aid on the wound, but the wound is there,” he said. “We’re working check by check like every other individual who is two checks away from being homeless. These are not objects. These are people that you’re dealing with.”

 

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NYC Housing Authority residents outraged over parking hikes


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Rory Lancman

Queens residents are outraged over a price hike in the city Housing Authority’s annual parking rates.

“Raising the cost to park in public housing . . . is a slap in the face to all,” said Monica Corbett, president of the Pomonok Residents Association. “These fee increases hurt all residents, especially our seniors and fixed income population.”

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has spiked parking costs for some residents from $75 to $340 for non-discounted drivers, $60 to $272 for seniors and handicap, and $150 to $650 for on-site employees.

The agency has two types of parking facilities — reserved spaces for renters with assigned designations and non-reserved ones for motorists with no specific spots.

It is doing away with non-reserved lots and changing them to reserved ones starting May 1, said NYCHA spokesperson Zodet Negrón.

Expenses will rise only for drivers who currently pay for non-reserved slots.

NYCHA began a new partnership with Greystone Parking Services last month. New parking rules include police ticketing and towing of unauthorized vehicles.

“These changes to the Resident Parking Program will help ensure cleaner and safer parking lots for all residents,” Negrón said.

Conversion plans were released last December, according to the agency. But Queens residents said the news was sudden.

“NYCHA’s massive parking fee hike is unfair enough, but springing it on residents with next to no notice and requiring payment in full up-front really adds insult to injury,” said former Assemblymember and City Council candidate Rory Lancman. “NYCHA needs to focus on fixing its many shortcomings, from backlogged repairs to inadequate security, and not gouging residents.”

Assemblymember Mike Simanowitz said the change would force people to look for parking on public streets.
“The idea that our city streets will be further choked with vehicles is simply unacceptable,” he said.

 

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Agencies give Sandy testimony before City Council


| tcullen@queenscourier.com


Nearly three months after the storm devastated the tri-state area, and with residents still trying to recover, the City Council has begun investigating how various agencies handled Sandy.

Testimony has been given by representatives of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the New York City Housing Authority, Con Edison and the Long Island Power Authority, among other agencies.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich, when addressing OEM, inquired why the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department had been denied a request for a rescue boat, despite the anticipated flooding in the hamlet. Ulrich also asked why OEM had not looked at the Breezy Point Cooperative’s evacuation plan, or had better communication with the several volunteer fire departments of southern Queens.

OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno said commissioners had been on the ground working with volunteer fire departments on plans during the lead up to the storm and had always maintained communications between the volunteers and the FDNY. It was not the office’s policy to approve of other entities’ evacuation plans, he said, but OEM could give input for both cooperatives and volunteer fire departments in the future, he said.

Ulrich suggested to Bruno that once recovery is completely over, and some stability is back in the area, OEM officials begin to work with these waterside communities to better prepare for future storms.

“I think in the next year it might be a good time, when everything settles and the rebuilding starts and life gets somewhat back to normal, that OEM try to engage these communities and these fire departments.”

 

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Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Rain before 10am. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 56. Breezy, with a west wind 20 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Friday night: A slight chance of snow showers after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. West wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

EVENT of the DAY: Irish Movie Night

Two Emerald Isle flicks will be screened. The Dead (1987), John Huston’s last film, is an adaptation of James Joyce’s love letter to the land of his ancestors and the country where his children grew up. Cluck (2011) is a comedy short about a feathered friend who upsets a family’s pecking order. New York Irish Center, 7:30 pm.Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens music teacher accused of sleeping with 16-year-old

A music teacher out of Jamaica was arrested for allegedly maintaining a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Vaughn McKinney, 58, is accused of starting a relationship with the female student when she was 16 after the two met through a Brooklyn church choir group, led by McKinney’s wife at the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church, according an Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) report. Read more: Queens Courier

Nation to join Connecticut in moment of silence for Sandy Hook shooting victims

People across the county will pause Friday for a moment of silence to remember the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre one week ago. Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy urged other states to honor the moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. ET, almost the exact minute that gunman Adama Lanza stormed the Newtown, Conn. school, killing 20 children and six adults. Read more: Daily News

NYers flock to ‘end of the world’-themed bashes to celebrate ‘Mayan apocalypse’

It was either a real “last call” — or just another excuse to get blotto. New Yorkers flocked to “end of the world”-themed parties at local bars last night to celebrate their potential final hours on Earth as the Mayan calendar predicted doomsday this morning. Read more: NY Post

Deli clerk killed in Queens bodega shooting

A deli clerk working alone in a Queens bodega was shot and killed last night during a brazen robbery. Cops said Ishak Ghali, 26, was shot once in the head after a lone gunman entered the All Friends Grocery & Deli on Onderdonk Avenue in Ridgewood, shortly after 6 p.m. Read more: NY Post

City housing to provide $5.6M for post-Sandy rent abatements

Some New Yorkers living in city public housing buildings will start seeing rent credits in their January bill. The New York City Housing Authority said it will provide $5.6 million in rent abatements for approximately 35,000 families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Read more: NY1

Formerly conjoined twin girls greet the public after successful separation surgery

Nine-month-old girls who were formerly conjoined twins are making their public debut at the Philadelphia hospital where they were separated. Allison June and Amelia Lee Tucker and their parents were introduced at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on Thursday. Read more: Daily News

 

Rent credits for NYCHA residents


| aaltman@queenscourier.com


Residents of public housing buildings severely affected by Sandy are catching a break.

The Board of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced that rent adjustments will be made for tenants in developments where heat, hot water and electricity have been nonexistent.

After Sandy hit, 402 NYCHA buildings, housing approximately 79,000 people, were without power and 386 buildings with 77,000 residents without heat and hot water. Electricity has since been restored to 378 buildings, containing about 74,584 tenants and heat and hot water is back for 58,677 residents in 290 buildings.

NYCHA buildings in Queens that have been without essential services include buildings in the Redfern, Carleton Manor, Hammel and Ocean Bay complexes.

Rent credits will be included in tenants January 2013 bill. However, NYCHA officials require residents to continue to pay their normal rents until the credits are reflected on their bill.

Weekend Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The Afternoon Roundup

Target of e-mails sent from Petraeus’ mistress is State Dept. military liaison

The target of the vicious e-mails sent from former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus’ mistress Paula Broadwell is the State Department military liaison, according to an AP source. Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who leads the Senate Intelligence Committee and planned to have Petraeus testify this week on the Sept. 11 attack that killed the US ambassador in Libya and three other Americans, said she first learned of Petraeus’ affair from the media late last week and was dumbstruck when Petraeus confirmed the affair to her in a telephone call Friday. Read more: NY Post

Rockaways fire fighters work 24-hour shifts as blaze dangers amplify in aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

They call it The Beach House. And like so many other houses in the Rockaways, it was flooded during Sandy. It has no heat or hot water. Only a generator is keeping the lights on. Despite the hardships, its occupants have not fled for warmer, drier, safer quarters. That’s because The Beach House is the home of Ladder 137 and Engine 268, and its residents are city firefighters who know the Rockaways still face grave danger. Read more: Daily News

Queens man dies from injuries sustained in fall at dark apartment building as NYC’s Sandy death toll reaches 43

Police say a 77-year-old man who died from injuries sustained in a fall at his darkened apartment building has become the latest victim of Superstorm Sandy. That raises the city’s death toll related to the storm to 43. Authorities say Albert McSwain died Saturday. He was found Oct. 31 at the bottom of the steps of his building on Rockway Beach Boulevard. Read more: NY Post

A train service returns – partially – to Rockaways nearly 2 weeks after Hurricane Sandy

Transit service has been partially restored to the Sandy-ravaged Rockaways. On Sunday, the MTA extended A train service to Howard Beach and added a shuttle bus to the storm damaged peninsula, officials said. Full A service to the Rockaways isn’t expected to return for months as the bridge over Jamaica Bay was extensively damaged by the superstorm. Read more: Daily News

Queens gas-station owner spills on shortage and line lunacy

A Queens gas-station owner says the fuel shortage could be fixed instantly if panicky drivers calmed down and hoarders, profiteers and scammers were stopped. In the two weeks since Hurricane Sandy, he’s been cursed at, spit on and nearly punched in the face by motorists. Fearing reprisals from his supplier, he requested anonymity to relate his experiences from the front lines of the fuel lines to The Post’s Kathianne Boniello. Read more: NY Post

Public housing residents demand power as NYCHA promises rent credits

The New York City Housing Authority is providing rent adjustments in public housing complexes that were severely impacted by Sandy. The agency announced Sunday that for any days that the tenants were without essential services like electricity, heat, water or elevators, NYCHA officials will issue a rent credit on January rent bills. Read more: NY1

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Today’s Weather

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 54. Northwest wind 13 to 16 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 43. Northwest wind 7 to 10 mph.

Event of the Day: William Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale”

E Phoenix Idealis Theater, Inc. delivers this classic story for a modern audience. Directed by Rachel Alt and Ben Fabrizi, it opens November 9 for a limited run at the Poppenhusen Institute in College Point. Find our more or view more events

Gas rationing begins today in NYC

More than a week into the gas shortage, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an emergency order rationing gas to begin Friday morning at 6. Cars with license plates ending in odd numbers or a letter will be able to purchase gas on odd numbered days; vehicles with plates ending in even numbers can purchase on even numbered days. Read more: Queens Courier

Housing Authority scrambling to restore power to 11 developments in Queens and Brooklyn by this weekend

The Housing Authority is scrambling to restore power by this weekend to 11 developments in Queens and Brooklyn that went dark more than a week ago. It doesn’t look promising. NYCHA Chairman John Rhea on Wednesday said he hoped to accomplish this, but a day later Mayor Bloomberg was saying, “I’m not sure we can make it.” Read more: Daily News

Residents displaced by Sandy are staring at life in Staten Island ‘jail’

The state is eyeing the recently shuttered Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island as a temporary home for people displaced by the ravages of Sandy and this week’s nasty nor’easter, officials said yesterday. Closed last December, the medium-security prison could feed and sleep as many as 900 people with nowhere else to go. Read more: NY Post

Students in displaced schools can now attend nearest school they can get to

On Thursday, for the first time since Oct. 26, every New York City public school was open. But nearly 200,000 students were still out, like a Coney Island third grader whose school building was damaged and relocated miles away in Bensonhurst. His elderly grandmother couldn’t get him to the new site. Read more: NY1

Personal items battered by Sandy litter temp landfill in Jacob Riis Park

Baby toys, photo albums, broken china—these are just some precious items that can be found in fast rising heaps of waste at a temporary landfill in Jacob Riis Park. Debris from storm battered Far Rockaway has been piling up at the park’s parking lot –by thousands of tons a day—thanks to sanitation workers who have been clearing thrash and sand-clogged streets. Read more: NY Post

Iran fires at U.S. drone over Persian Gulf, but misses: Pentagon

Iranian attack aircraft fired multiple rounds at an unarmed U.S. drone in international airspace over the Persian Gulf last week, the Pentagon revealed Thursday. The rounds missed. But the incident — the first known attempt by Iranian warplanes to take out a U.S. drone — added intrigue to the extremely tense relationship between between America and Iran. Read more: Daily News

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then overcast. High of 59. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the East in the afternoon. Chance of rain 20%. Monday night: Overcast with rain. Low of 54. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the NNE after midnight. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible.

EVENT of the DAY:  Queens Restaurant Week 

The ninth annual Queens Restaurant Week starts today with many eateries offering prix-fixe menus at $25 for a three-course meal or other specials. More than 100 restaurants are participating in the event, which takes place October 8-11 and October 15-18. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Poll finds tight Queens state Senate race

State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. and City Councilman Eric Ulrich are locked in a tight race for Addabbo’s Queens seat in a key battle for control of the Senate, a new poll finds. Read more: New York Post

New York City Housing Authority finally placing cameras at the Pomonok Houses in Queens, but mostly in areas where there is no crime

It seems like a no-brainer — put the cameras where the crime is. But that’s not what happened at the Pomonok Houses in Queens, a Daily News examination found. Read more: New York Daily News

Friends to have fundraiser for Army Guardsman in police shooting

The friends of the Army National Guardsman who was shot and killed by a detective during a traffic stop in Queens, will raise money to help his family pay for his funeral Sunday. Read more: Fox New York

Students turned away from SATs because of ID confusion

Taking the SAT is a rite of passage for many high schoolers but some Queens students were mistakenly turned away because of confusion over their IDs. Read more: NY1

MetroCards go on sale with ads on both sides

It sputtered out of the subway vending machine, an oddity that deserved careful examination. Some riders asked a station agent how to swipe it. One woman was confused about whether it was even a MetroCard at all. Read more: New York Times

Yankees win ALDS playoff opener over Orioles 7-2

CC Sabathia, Russell Martin and the New York Yankees crashed a party that was 15 years in the making. Read more: Wall Street Journal

Obama ribs his own debating; Romney eyes speech

On a last dash for cash in the celebrity scene of California, President Barack Obama on Sunday took a good-natured shot as his own underwhelming debate performance, marveling at how his friends in the entertainment business could turn in flawless showings every time. Read more: AP

 

 

Queens Afternoon Roundup


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

The Afternoon Roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Cloudy with occasional showers, with a high of 55. Winds light and variable, 50% chance of rain. Sunday night: Rain ending, partial clearing overnight, with a low of 44. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.

As daughter prepares for dangerous brian surgery, Queens dad has heart attack at her bedside

It was a complication no one could have predicted. Queens schoolgirl Khosboo Persaud, stricken with epilepsy since infancy, was about to undergo delicate brain surgery that could end her crippling seizures. Even with six doctors in the operating room at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell, there was a tiny chance something could go wrong, like bleeding or a stroke. As it turned out, the real medical crisis happened hours before the 12-year-old went under the knife, while her team was wrapping up preop testing. Khosboo’s father, Mohabir, had a heart attack. Read More: Daily News

 New York City Housing Authority finally placing cameras at the Pomonok Houses in Queens, but mostly in areas where there is no crime

It seems like a no-brainer — put the cameras where the crime is. But that’s not what happened at the Pomonok Houses in Queens, a Daily News examination found. In late 2009, tenants at the public housing project got local politicians to set aside $700,000 for cameras they were told would be installed throughout the complex. Years passed as NYCHA tried to figure out how to best spend the taxpayers’ money. After all that planning, the residents learned in the last few weeks a sobering fact — only 13 of Pomonok’s 35 buildings will get cameras. And most perplexing of all, most will be placed in areas where there’s no crime. Read More: Daily News

Toddler remains found buried in L.I. backyard

Police have discovered what they believe to be the remains of Justin Kowalczic, a missing 17-month-old boy in Farmingdale, Long Island. According to investigators, Kowalczic’s remains were found buried in the backyard of the home Justin’s mother Heather Kowalczik rented with her boyfriend and their two other children. The search for Justin was ignited Wednesday. Read More: NBC NY

NYPD cop who shot unarmed GCP driver was ‘fearing for his life,’ sources say

The cop insists he was “fearing for his life.” Elite NYPD unit Detective Hassan Hamdy believed that Army National Guardsman Noel Polanco “was reaching for a weapon” right before Hamdy shot the unarmed Queens man during a traffic stop on the Grand Central Parkway, sources familiar with the cop’s account told The Post yesterday. Read More: NY Post

Paralyzed woman from Queens now wants life support

A Queens woman who was given the right to be taken off her respirator now says she wants to live, according to her lawyer. 28-year-old Sungeun Grace Lee is paralyzed from the neck down from a brain tumor and Friday, a Brooklyn Appellate court ruled she could be discontinued from life support. Read More: Fox NY

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 5 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Southwest wind 7 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. Friday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent.

EVENT of the DAY: “Knocked Up” at Rufus King Park

8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., A one-night stand results in an unexpected pregnancy for entertainment reporter Alison (Katherine Heigl), who vows to be a good mom and keep her career on track by trying to make things work with the slacker (Seth Rogen) who knocked her up. It’s anything but smooth sailing as the odd couple gets acquainted, but Alison finds there’s more to her baby’s daddy than she originally thought.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Teacher sues over ‘preach’ of contract

A veteran public-school teacher who was canned for calling students “racist” and referring to herself as a “Messenger of God” is suing to get her job back. Dr. Patricia Missick, who had been fined and reprimanded several years ago for verbally abusing students and for incompetence, riled eighth-graders at JHS 189 in Queens by repeatedly mentioning her close ties to God. Read more: NY Post

Carriage horse bucks itself free near Central Park, sends driver, 2 passengers spilling into street

A runaway carriage horse wreaked havoc during the start of rush hour Thursday afternoon, unhitching himself and running off before hitting a parked car near Columbus Circle. A man and woman were enjoying a ride around the popular tourist spot around 4:20 p.m. when the driver tried to merge into traffic at the circle, witnesses said. Read more: Daily News

Banned soccer players can now use Flushing Meadows-Corona Park during U.S. Open

The city banned thousands of amateur soccer players from using Flushing Meadows-Corona Park during the U.S. Open — and then back-pedalled following a Daily News inquiry. Soccer leagues, primarily made up of immigrants, have used the fields for decades but were informed earlier this year that they would not be allowed to use the park from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10. Read more: Daily News

Romney says he paid at least 13% in taxes for last ten years

Mitt Romney has paid no less than 13 percent in personal income taxes over the past ten years, he said Thursday. The presumptive GOP nominee has faced withering criticism from Democrats over the release of his tax returns, including a charge by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid that Romney had paid no taxes for a ten year period. Read more: NY1

NYC report critical of public housing agency

The city’s public housing authority is beset by inefficient management and bureaucratic practices that contribute to a growing repair backlog of hundreds of thousands of work orders, a city-hired consultant said in a report made public Thursday. City Housing Authority Commissioner John Rhea said following the release that he will seek to overhaul the agency’s board, and officials stressed that some of the recommended changes in the report by The Boston Consulting Group were already under way. Read more: NBC New York

 

Affordable housing for seniors


| tcimino@queenscourier.com


Some seniors may soon have an affordable place to call home.

Officials from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the MET Council celebrated the opening of Council Towers VI in Pomonok.

Located at 71st Avenue between Kissena and Parsons boulevards, the building is the sixth in a series of completed senior housing buildings designed to serve as supportive affordable housing for New York City residents 62 years of age and older.

Council Towers VI was developed under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), a multibillion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of the 2014 fiscal year. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of over 129,200 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs, with 12,500 of those units in Queens.

“HUD has no higher mission than improving people’s lives and strengthening communities, and this wonderful senior development does just that,” said Mirza Orriols, deputy regional administrator. “The latest statistics indicate that one in five New York City residents live in poverty, many of whom, unfortunately, are the elderly living on meager pensions or income.”

Council Towers VI is an eight-story building with 77 one-bedroom rental units and one unit reserved for an on-site superintendent. Twenty-five percent of the units have a preference for existing NYCHA tenants. All units have a senior preference for tenants age 62 and older. The units will be available to tenants earning no more than 50 percent Area Median Income (AMI) or $28,650 for an individual. The tenants’ rent will be set at 30 percent household income.

Residents of Council Towers VI have access to a variety of on-site services. Management staff will provide case management, benefits and entitlements advice and advocacy, as well as on-site education and recreational activities. An experienced social worker will serve as a support service coordinator. Staff will be equipped to refer tenants to off-site licensed health care agencies to provide home care, adult daycare, hospital services, medical education and nursing home options. Additional on-site services include Meals-On-Wheels, housekeeping assistance, counseling and recreational trips. Through the New York State Department of Transportation, Met Council provides transportation for the elderly to essential appointments and recreational outings.

 

Seniors fight relocation at Pomonok


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Pomonok Press Conference15w

The “golden” residents of Pomonok Houses are refusing to let the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) send them off into the sunset.

Senior citizens, many of whom have lived in Pomonok for multiple decades, are furious after they say NYCHA sent them threatening letters demanding they move into a different apartment or an entirely new housing complex.

“I think this is terrible and a travesty,” said Carolyn Ledogar, 71, who has lived in Pomonok for 52 years. “It is terrible that people in their 70s and 80s are getting letters that we have to vacate or relocate. We are supposed to be in our golden years. What golden years?”

Residents like Ledogar, who live in apartments deemed to be under-utilized based on the number of people occupying them, began receiving letters last month informing them they may have to move into smaller units to make room for larger families.

Initial letters offered $350 to offset incurred moving expenses and requested residents visit the Pomonok management office within 10 business days to discuss their living situation. A second, sterner letter followed, notifying recipients they had to visit the office or their lease would be terminated.

“NYCHA faces a real crisis with more than 161,000 people on its waiting list for public housing,” NYCHA officials told The Courier. “There are nearly 50,000 people in NYCHA housing units who are not living in apartments properly sized for their needs – meaning they have too many rooms for their family size.”

According to a NYCHA spokesperson, the letters were sent in compliance with a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirement, and that each resident’s lease includes notification of potential relocation. To facilitate seniors, NYCHA is partnering with Met Council, which is developing new senior housing adjoining Pomonok, located at 67-10 Parsons Boulevard in Flushing.

“NYCHA is not bullying residents out of their apartments,” said Monica Corbett, president of the Pomonok Residents Association. “On the lease, it says that when you become under-occupied, NYCHA sends you this letter. People complain to me but I have two sides – people who need and people who don’t need. I have mothers who are in one-bedroom apartments with five kids, and they have been on a waiting list for over 10 years. Then I have other apartments which are under-occupied, because the resident’s children have moved out.”

Upon receiving the letters, many residents flooded the offices of Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz with phone calls, complaining about the possibility of eviction.

“It is unfair what the housing authority is doing,” said the assemblymember. “No one denies that there is a need for larger sized families, but to threaten people that if they don’t move they would be in violation of their lease is completely unfair. We are talking about senior citizens. A lot of these seniors are living alone and the only safety nets and lifelines they have are their neighbors.”

Simanowitz claims NYCHA has known for years that some residents have been living alone, and choosing to send the letters now is “inhumane” and “selective enforcement.”

Ledogar, who has lived in the same two-bedroom apartment for the past 40 years, has osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and two herniated discs.

“All of us in Pomonok are very angry,” she said. “The seniors don’t want to move. If they try and force us to move then we go to court. I’m not going to cater to them, and none of the other seniors will. If we have to go to court, at least we’re going down fighting.”