State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz Press Statement Regarding NYC Housing Authority Fee Increases

Ruben Diaz

March 20, 2006

Today, we have called this press conference to condemn the proposed increases, by the New York City Housing Authority and the Mayor’s Administration, for senior citizens and all the residents of the City’s public housing.

I am proud to stand beside Ms. Gloria Best, the President of the Boston Road Plaza’s Tenants Association, a vigilant senior citizen whose dedication for social justice is and example for us all.

The abuses and lack of consideration to our senior citizens have to come to an end. Senior Citizens have given too much toward the Development of our City, and now is about time for us to not only respect them but also to do everything possible for them to have good services instead of more burdens in their lives.

Not long ago, in order to save one million dollars, this Administration took away the daily hot meals that seniors used to enjoy and instead, forced them to eat frozen meals.

Now, one more time, senior citizens and residents of Public Housing are faced with increases in heating and repair services.

It is well known to everyone and to the Mayor that senior citizens right now have to decide how to spend their limited income between rent, their utility bills, paying for their medicine, or buying something to eat.

To add that burden that our seniors are carrying, the Mayor wants them to pay for, among other things:

1- $13.66 for a toilet paper holder

2- $21.46 for a toilet seat

3- $23.25 for a clothes pole

4- $47.25 for a door cylinder

5- $14.85 for a key duplicate

6- $58.51 for door hinges

If a senior or any other housing resident, by accident, drops their keys into the elevator shaft or the compactor, they will be charged $50.00 for retrieval of those keys.

If a senior or any other housing resident, for any reason, is locked-out, he or she will be charged $50.00 for N.Y.C.H.A. to come and open the door for them.

If a radiator valve or radiator handle has to be replaced, the senior or housing resident will be charged $89.26 for the valve and $18.46 for the handle.

We are here to call upon Mayor Bloomberg to stop these increases on our senior citizens and poor residents of the New York City Housing Authority. We can not balance the budget on the backs of our less fortunate residents.

I have also writing a letter to Councilmember Erick Dilan, Chairperson of the Housing Committee, and Councilwoman Maria Del Carmen Arroyo, Chairperson of the Aging Committee, for both of them to conduct public hearings on this matter and to do everything in their power to protect our senior citizens from these abuses.