Queens Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey and several other members of the Assembly join to protest a proposal that some New York City Public Housing Authority developments be sold to balance the authority’s budget. At the press conference on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan on November 21st, she said, “Our public housing is a tremendous resource for the city. But the idea of selling any of New York City’s public housing developments is like suggesting we sell the Statue of Liberty or City Hall itself.” Woodside Houses, which is located in Assemblywoman Markey’s 30th Assembly District, “has been a valuable part of the community for more than 50 years and is not a piece of real estate to be bargained away,” she said. “Woodside Houses provides a home for working families with children and seniors living on a fixed income and must be preserved.”
“All of us had the same instant reaction to the misguided suggestion about New York City’s public housing by the HUD Regional Director,” said Assemblywoman Markey. “He’s certainly correct that public housing is a tremendous resource for the city. But the idea of selling any of New York City’s public housing developments is like suggesting we sell the Statue of Liberty or City Hall itself.”
Ten members of the Assembly representing every borough were present at the press conference organized by Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright, chair of the Assembly’s Public Housing Subcommittee. Wright mobilized the group in response to a proposal by HUD Regional Director Sean Moss that the city should sell off public housing stock in neighborhoods with high property values in order to balance the NYCHA budget, as well as to finance smaller scale housing development in less costly areas.
“The Woodside Houses development in my Queens district has been a valuable part of the community for more than 50 years,” Assemblywoman Markey said. “Woodside Houses is not a piece of real estate to be bargained away, it is an integral part of the community. Its residents are involved in community life, attend local schools and are active in local churches and other community institutions. They do the jobs that keep our community and economy humming,” she added.
The Assemblywoman also observed, “The real estate market in New York City seems to be doing just fine by itself these days – providing housing on the upper end of the income scale. It is affordable housing we need – affordable housing like Woodside Houses which provides shelter for working families with children and seniors living on a fixed income.”
She concluded, “Residents of Queens – and every borough – are desperate for affordable housing. It’s dead wrong to think we might eliminate affordable housing and get a one-shot windfall that would build affordable housing somewhere else. All of us say “NO” to this terrible scheme.”