NYCHA rushes to meet Senator’s ‘hell to pay’ demands

Update: NYCHA rushes to meet Senator’s ‘hell to pay’ demands
Sen. Myrie’s office

City housing honchos were hard at work on Thursday as they rushed to meet State Sen. Zellnor Myrie’s 24-hour deadline to clean up the fire-ravaged housing projects in East Flatbush.

Myrie, a first term legislator, had threatened “hell to pay” if city officials failed to quickly remedy the decrepit conditions inside the William Reid Apartments, which were partially engulfed in a fire in late August.

“No one should be living in these conditions,” said Myrie in a late Wednesday tweet-storm. “If you do not give us a satisfactory response in 24 hours, you will have hell to pay.”

Myrie — speaking on camera from the second floor of the Maple Street building between Troy and Alabany avenues — pointed to the remnants of an inferno that ravaged the housing complex seven weeks earlier, and demanded immediate action to clean up the ash-covered hallways.

“There was a fire here a couple of weeks ago, and nothing has been done. Look at the conditions that they have our seniors living in,” he said. “We don’t know what type of air they’re breathing in.”

Despite nearly two months elapsing, the New York City Housing Authority — which oversees the city’s public housing stockpile — had done seemingly little to clean up the aftermath.

“These are our most vulnerable constituents and we will not accept this treatment,” wrote Myrie.

On Thursday morning, hours after Myrie’s social media tirade, the Housing Authority dispatched a team of maintenance workers to comply with the legislators demands.

“Staff are washing and repairing the damaged space and will be done painting tomorrow. We are looking into the delays and will take appropriate action,” said agency spokeswoman Barbra Brancaccio.

In a separate statement, the spokeswoman took an apparent shot at the public forum which the freshman senator chose to make his demands.

“We hope moving forward, the senator will contact us directly about issues concerning his community to ensure that residents receive accurate information,” said Brancaccio.

Myrie, after returning to the housing projects on Thursday to watch the repair work first-hand, fired off another tweet thread, again criticizing housing officials for waiting to act until they were publicly called out.

“This would not be acceptable in any other community. We had to put [the Housing Authority] on blast to get a response,” he wrote. “We are glad to see a crew working here today, but this is just a first step. We are going to continue monitoring the situation, so please keep us informed.”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.
Zellnor Myrie watches on as NYCHA officials clean up the fire damage.
Sen. Myrie’s office