Here’s the Truth about NYCHA and Hope Gardens

By Shola Olatoye, Chair, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Shola Olatoye, Chair, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), meet with NYCHA residents in 2016, Leticia Barboza/NYCHA

Recently, unfounded and false accusations have been leveled in the press against NYCHA and our work in Brooklyn, alleging that NYCHA has refused to meet with approximately 200 tenants at Hope Gardens who wanted to discuss issues such as repairs and improvements. Nothing could be further from the truth. 
 
Here’s the reality:

  • NYCHA staff sat and met individually with these tenants, taking work orders and listening to community concerns. Despite the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) discouraging residents from filing tickets with the Housing Authority, NYCHA staff has volunteered consistently to meet with them at a date of their choosing.
  • I have personally met with Pastor Brawley four times. I’ve also attended two of his organization’s 300+ person meetings.
  • For a long time, we’ve asked for a comprehensive list of issues to be sent to us in writing, but only last week did NYCHA’s property management team receive a list from this group. As soon as our property management team received a list of written complaints, they began working on repairs. In fact, many mailboxes have already been fixed over the past few days.
  • Some of the issues cited by the organization, such as intercoms, need to be inspected in specific apartments in order to get fixed and we’re waiting for a list of specific apartment numbers to access. But overall, the building was cleaned and brought up to standards last week — and our property management team will continue monitoring the development to ensure it stays clean.

All NYCHA residents deserve to live in safe and clean homes and we are always willing to meet with residents and advocates to make that a reality. We’re grateful for the partnership of our residents and the community and are working urgently to address the concerns presented by this organization.