As overburdened New York City agencies struggle to meet the needs of residents, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso will divert Borough Hall’s money and resources toward aiding New Yorkers and easing the strain on the city, he announced Wednesday.
All future community events organized by the beep’s office will be directed toward addressing the needs of struggling communities, Reynoso announced at a Sept. 28 Latino Heritage Month celebration at Borough Hall.
The announcement followed the release of the Fiscal Year 2023 Mayor’s Management Report, which emphasized the extent to which New York City is struggling to accommodate the needs of New Yorkers while also handling migrant crisis, which Mayor Eric Adams said would “destroy New York City” earlier this month.
“If the Mayor’s Management Report showed us anything, it’s that the city is struggling to meet the most basic needs of all New Yorkers – those who have been here for years and those who have just arrived,” Reynoso said.
Reynoso pointed out that several city agencies have become less efficient and less accessible under the Adams administration.
“The city’s rate for processing food stamps is the lowest it’s been since 2006,” Reynoso said. “In fact, less than 40% of SNAP benefits were processed on time, down from 91.9% when Adams took office. Not to mention that the average timeline for repairing a single vacant NYCHA unit has surged to 370 days, up from around 161 days the year before and nearly 5 times longer than it took to make the repairs in 2019.”
That means families relying on SNAP benefits are often left waiting for the payments they need to buy food, and vacant NYCHA units sit empty for months before they can be repaired and a new family can move in.
Reynoso acknowledged that the issues were being exacerbated by the over 116,000 migrants and asylum seekers that have traveled to the city in the past year and a half. Tens of thousands of migrants are staying in the city’s shelter system, and Adams estimated the crisis could cost the city up to $12 billion by summer 2025.
The solution, Reynoso said, was to orient Borough Hall funding to aid struggling communities and city agencies aimed to lessen the financial burden placed on institutions striving to make New York a better, healthier and safer place for its residents. Borough Hall did not immediately have details on how much money would be redirected.
“Everyone here is going to be the last group of people who will be celebrating at Borough Hall until we get out of the crisis,” Reynoso said. “We have to be honest that the challenges that we have in front of us are difficult, they’re difficult. But we’re Brooklyn, we’re New York. We get out of everything.”
Reynoso emphasized how intertwined his own Latino heritage is with his desire to serve his community throughout hardships.
“As the son of two Dominican immigrants, born in Williamsburg and raised on food stamps in Section 8 housing, I cannot in good conscience host parties and celebrations when so many Brooklynites are struggling,” Reynoso said. “I am committed to using the platform and resources that I have to deliver on behalf of those who need help the most, and I look forward to redefining Brooklyn Borough Hall as an office oriented toward service.”