OpEd: Charles and Inez Barron and Community Board 5 Forced To Have Emergency Town Hall After Being Exposed For Not Informing Their Constituents That NYCHA Housing Is Being Sold To Private Developers

East New York Housing Series

By James Lewis Jr.

After yesterday’s informative OpEd: ‘City Officials Sell NYCHA Housing in East New York to Private Developers, Charles and Inez Barron, and Community Board 5, it seems, were forced to announce a sham “Emergency Town Hall” to cover up for not informing their constituents earlier about the fact that NYCHA was being sold out to private developers.

I located an article from 2018 that speaks about the privatization of NYCHA, which means the Barrons and Community Board 5 Executives knew that this deal was coming down the pike two years ago.  They had more than enough time to talk to the community and have Town Halls as a proactive way to stop the privatization. Their unusual silence can be looked at as a sign of support for the sale of NYCHA to be privatized, and in turn East New York to be completely gentrified.

Only after yesterday’s OpEd, did Charles and Inez Barron, along with the Executive Members of Community Board 5 start talking about having an “Emergency Town Hall” that they are now calling “Defending NYCHA against privatization”.  Really? An Emergency Town Hall after I wrote the OpEd yesterday informing the East New York residents that the NYCHA developments are being sold. Obviously the Barrons and Community Board 5 have no shame. They DID NOT inform their own constituents and the people who voted for them, about the privatization, and now they want you to believe they want to do something about it.

Do not be fooled by allowing the Barrons to put on a sham Town Hall to tout their “fight”, when the fact is there was no fight at all. East New York’s NYCHA Housing has been sold on their watch! They might have complained about the mismanagement of NYCHA but they obviously got duped into giving it all up to private developers. In either case, they failed the community miserably. Selling out to private developers means the “low income” apartments will eventually become “affordable housing” and part “market rate” housing. We all know market rate rents in New York City is sky high and “Affordable” is very high. There are “Affordable” apartments listed at this very moment on the official New York City Affordable Housing website for $2,116 per month for a studio apartment.

A Town Hall at this stage of the game Is useless coming from this group of people who, I believe, were trying to hide the NYCHA sale from the people. Secondly, they are only scrambling to put together an Emergency Town Hall because they were exposed yesterday as selling out their community by not even informing the residents of what they are facing. If they wanted to have a Town Hall they could have had a series of Town Halls starting 2 years ago when they knew about it or 15 days ago when the news was widely spread on various media outlets. See the date of this Real Deal article.

East New York elected officials and Community Board leadership are always marching and conducting Town Halls after our community has been shafted and hoodwinked, which is why East New York continues to suffer and get crapped on by the city time and time again. This is about our housing. They cannot play with our housing in a time when housing is so hard to come by in New York City. They’re playing games with our lives to sustain their own power, and it has to stop.

If you do go to their “Emergency Town Hall” ask them these questions:

  • When did you first know NYCHA was on the block to be sold?
  • A vote had to come through the City Council. How did Inez Barron vote?
  • Did Community Board 5 provide any information to the community about the vote or about the sale of NYCHA?
  • Did Charles Barron, Inez Barron or Community Board 5 know that The Hudson Companies developed a property in East New York that is hampered with sewage backups? (Hudson is one of the private developers slated to takeover NYCHA)
  • Can they guarantee that you will be able to keep your current apartment without being displaced?
  • Will the apartments eventually go to market rate at some time in the future?

The bottom line East New York; get your credit right, get your finances in order and pay your rent so you won’t get evicted because private developers will evict you fast and they are eager to do so. Do NOT depend on the elected officials or Community Board 5 for information or answers because they already showed you who they are. Just remember, they did not say one word about the sale of NYCHA until they were exposed as being silent yesterday.

Stay tuned to EastNewYork.com for follow up OpEds on East New York Housing.

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