The eleventh meeting of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was held on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 via a virtual platform. Federal Monitor, Bart M. Schwartz, and the monitoring team’s Resident Engagement Team Leader, Asha Muldro, hosted the meeting which was viewed by about 80 people. A recording from the meeting is available. Below are some of the highlights.
- In his opening remarks, Mr. Schwartz talked about the new and improved recertification program, an idea that was initially introduced at a CAC meeting by Ms. Nancy Ortiz. Although the program is in its early stages, early results have been positive.
- Schwartz mentioned another effort the monitoring team is undertaking, the Resident Ambassador program which will build on the program NYCHA already has in place. Resident Ambassadors work with residents when remediation is needed with issues in their apartments.
- Schwartz also announced that the monitoring team will be taking another look at NYCHA’s safety associate program to see if there is a way to make it more effective.
- New York City Department of Youth and Community Development Associate Commissioner, Darryl Rattray, announced the numerous summer programs and camps scheduled through August, including a virtual job fair and a new program, Saturday Night Lights which will offer safe places for young adults to engage in sports activities.
- Senior Director for the Department for the Aging, Agnes Mak, provided an update on the “grab and go” meal services for seniors.
- NYCHA Executive Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, Eva Trimble, updated attendees on the return of in-person Family Days this summer and NYCHA’s Elevator Summer Readiness Program.
- Senior Advisor at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development and new CAC member, Katherine Brennan gave an overview of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) which allows residents to pay up to a year of rental arrears and utility payments for those impacted by COVID, as well as a discounted broadband subscription for qualified residents.
- New York City Fire Department Deputy Assistant Chief, Kevin Brennan, discussed an initiative to reduce the damage the Department causes when responding to emergencies in NYCHA buildings and to revamp the key fobs program.
- Schwartz mentioned the misuse of the Fireman’s key by residents who are controlling the elevators by using a key they are not supposed to have. The monitoring has been gathering information regarding elevator outages caused by the misuse of this key and will provide recommendations to reduce the number of outages.
The meeting also provided an opportunity for resident leaders serving on the committee to comment and express their concerns. Significant items included:
- Staten Island Resident Representative, Shekina Butler, is concerned about the lighting situation in the development, which is creating a safety issue, as well as garbage piling up which is causing a fly issue. Ms. Butler also mentioned that West Brighton will be participating in the elevator readiness program.
- Queens Resident Representative, Manuel Martinez, commended the many great people working at NYCHA; but emphasized that a particular workplace culture still exists, and it works against NYCHA and negatively impacts the communities, such as a lack of accountability at the local level.
- Brooklyn Resident Representative, Joel Gross, provided recommendations for Family Days to experience a more safe and secure event.
Please continue to visit our website for more information on upcoming meetings including:
- July 13: Queens Community Meeting
- August 10: Next Community Advisory Committee Meeting