Senator Jeff Klein & Councilman Ritchie Torres expose dangerous sexual predators illegally living in public housing developments

Despite federal ban, more sex offenders are calling NYCHA developments home

New York, NY— State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) and Councilman Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx), joined by Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn) and outraged New York City Housing Development tenants,  released an alarming investigative report on Tuesday, “Sex Offenders in Public Housing: NYCHA Residents at Risk,” detailing a sharp rise in predators illegally residing in public housing developments across the city.

Despite federal law prohibiting sex offenders from residing in public housing, the report reveals that the number of sex offenders residing in NYCHA housing has increased over the past five years. While Brooklyn had the dubious distinction of the largest number of predators in its complexes, Manhattan and The Bronx also saw a significant increase. Klein and Torres’ investigation identified 81 public housing developments throughout the five boroughs that currently have sex offenders residing in at least one of their buildings, with 21 of those developments housing multiple offenders.

“Dangerous sexual predators residing in public developments already belong on NYCHA’s so-called ‘Not Wanted’ list and the agency must evict individuals violating the law and jeopardizing the safety of other tenants immediately. NYCHA and HUD must continually monitor who is living inside our public housing stock to make sure no family is at risk of a dangerous individual who could be living next door before a tragedy occurs,” said State Senator Klein.

“This report’s findings are of grave concern to all of us who care about public safety in public housing developments. NYCHA’s inability to accurately and effectively keep out sex offenders must be investigated and addressed quickly, and I look forward to the hearing on this topic in order to get NYCHA’s plan for removing them,” said Council Member Torres, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing.

“Whether it is mold, faulty temporary boilers, unrepaired apartments, or instances of violence and other criminal activity within the hallways of their developments, NYCHA residents already have enough problems to deal with. The last thing they need is another reason to worry for their safety and security. NYCHA must act to ensure that dangerous sex offenders are not allowed in NYCHA residences, period. I applaud Senator Klein and Council Member Torres for highlighting this serious issue and demanding swift action and accountability on behalf of our constituents' safety,” said Councilman Treyger.

Of the 110 sex offenders who report their residences to the Department of Criminal Justice Services as a NYCHA development, 40 percent of them live in Brooklyn public housing buildings. The New York State Sex Offender registry revealed that 30 sex offenders illegally called The Bronx’s public housing developments home.

 

Brooklyn

                          44

Bronx

30

Manhattan

29

Queens

                           5                

Staten Island

2

 

In Manhattan, four sex offenders reside in the Jefferson Houses — the highest concentration of predators in any development.

 

Development

Borough

Number of Sex Offenders

Jefferson

Manhattan

4

Jackson

Bronx

3

Edenwald

Bronx

3

Bronx River

Bronx

3

Breukelen

Brooklyn

3

Van Dyke I

Brooklyn

3

Glenmore Plaza

Brooklyn

3

King Towers

Manhattan

3

The majority of offenders are pedophiles: 68 committed crimes against children under 17-years-old and four individuals have victims under the age of five.

Sixty-six of the offenders are classified as Level 2, and pose a moderate risk to others, while 44 are designated as Level 3, and pose a high risk of repeating their crimes. Forty-one of the sexual predators were considered sexually violent by the DCJS.

Senator Klein and Councilman Torres called for action, and proposed a two-step plan to address the danger. First, NYCHA and the NYPD must immediately conduct a survey to cross-check the serx offender registry with NYCHA housing. Any apartments with sex offenders should be immediately inspected in order to exclude offenders currently in residence.

Second, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development must identify those residents who are legally living in NYCHA’s apartments with illegally residing sex offenders, in order to determine if any fraud was committed in failing to list them as a household member.

NYCHA residents were outraged that sex offenders were living in their buildings and called for their immediate eviction.

“It is a shame that this is going on in city housing, that we have pedophiles living amongst us here, and we need to do something about it,” said Lucille White, tenant president of the Sedgwick Houses in The Bronx.

“We should have been informed. We have a lot of kids here and a lot of young mothers. Kids hang out outside by themselves and parents should know about this. It saddens me that this is happening here. In other upper-class, middle-class neighborhoods they are well-informed about things that are happening. These predators need to go somewhere else where there are no kids and no schools,” Rafael Gonzalez, a member of Sedgwick Houses tenant association.