Assemblywoman Nikki Lucas Says HPD Has Been Slow to Respond to Her Previous Requests for Help for Tenants in Linden Plaza
I am saddened to hear about the recent fatal shooting of Raelynn Cameron, who was was shot while inside of a vacant apartment at Linden Plaza Houses. From all accounts she had a promising life ahead of her.
Earlier in the year I conducted a walk-through of Linden Plaza with Mayor Eric Adams to point out all our concerns about the neglect within the development. Security is virtually non-existent, there’s scaffolding that has been up for years, the grounds are unkept, apartments are in disrepair, and now to find out that young people were able to access a vacant apartment, is horrifying.
These issues were an emergency when we conducted our walk through a couple of months ago, and now the emergency has heightened to an unthinkable level with the fatal shooting of Raelynn.
We must do something about Linden Plaza today, not tomorrow, but today. I am going to continue to call HPD and the owners and management of Linden Plaza. There simply is no reason for these issues to remain a constant problem at the development.
As a follow up to the walk-through with Mayor Adams a meeting was set up with HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrion, and the HPD team. We left the meeting with the mayor indicating that he wanted answers to the crumbling infrastructure, the lack of upkeep of the landscaping of the grounds, public safety and loitering, and the lack of account for millions of dollars of loans that were to be used to make the above listed repairs. However, rent increases were issued to cover loan payments and the work was approved by another city agency despite the less than subpar work that was done.
We have yet to receive any follow up nor any changes resulting from that meeting with HPD. Ms. Pam Lockley, Tenant Association President for Linden Plaza also previously spoke to RY Management (Management for Linden Plaza) complaining about empty apartments, but the complaints were ignored. It is unthinkable that vacant apartments would exist in Linden Plaza when the need for permanent housing is at an all-time high.
Our office also made a recommendation to send a violence interruption group into Linden Plaza as well as into Spring Creek, which are currently warring. We made recommendations of a couple of groups, Elite Learners, and Brooklyn Think Tank. We are currently awaiting answers to our suggestions. We found this necessary because two residents reached out to Andre Mitchell, New York City’s “Gun Czar”, for help and Mitchell informed them that he could not help because Linden Plaza is not within his catchment area. This is unusual because as New York City’s “Gun Czar” you would think the catchment area is all of New York City, particularly in neighborhoods like East New York.
To date, not one issue from our meeting or walk-through has been addressed with results. There have just been meetings for another meeting, and in most cases, we’ve just been ignored. The mayor’s office agrees that something must be done, and we are working together to make sure HPD moves quickly to ensure every issue within Linden Plaza is addressed.
This is the disconnect within government and city agencies that the people of our city complain about. If we are a city that wants to be safe, then who are the exact people that are dropping the ball? I want to know the names of people who are not doing their jobs. We must stop saying “the city agency” is not responding. I want names. If Commissioners are not doing their jobs, then they need to be replaced. If there are specific people within agencies who are not doing their jobs, then they need to be replaced. I’m going for accountability. Real people run these agencies so if we are not getting results from any city agency then we have to get the names of the actual people who need to be replaced. If the city was a business, then that is exactly what would happen.
When will the entire 60th District matter? When will the lives of EAST NEW YORK RESIDENTS matter?
When will city executives stop fighting for titles and power and start fighting for PEOPLE?
I did not conduct the walk-through as some sort of photo opportunity. The walk-through was conducted because we listened to the tenants of Linden Plaza, and we wanted to have the Linden Plaza issues resolved immediately. Linden Plaza is, and has been, a priority for me and my office. We are expecting a full investigation on how a vacant apartment can be accessed by teens without management knowing about it. We want all the issues at Linden Plaza addressed and resolved immediately.
I am going to continue to reach out to HPD until we have these issues resolved. No more meetings for another meeting. We need action TODAY on the issues that plague Linden Plaza, as well as all the specific issues that we discussed during our walk-through of East New York. I want every issue resolved and checked off the list until East New York is a safe place for youth, seniors and families.
Assemblywoman Nikki Lucas
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