Welcome!

News Feed Item

Elected Officials Join Justice for Homeowners, Tenants, Community Groups And Labor To Demand HPD Reform

Congressman Charles Rangel Leads The Call for Comprehensive Reform

NEW YORK, April 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of New York City homeowners and tenants were today joined by political, community and labor leaders in demanding comprehensive procurement reform to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

"As a homeowner of an HPD built house, I can tell you that what HPD is doing is wrong," said Ari Estrella of Justice for Homeowners.  "We placed our faith and hard earned money in HPD and the City of New York and we have been lied to, exploited  and let down every step of the way.  We stand together today to highlight the numerous units of 'affordable housing' that have been built by contractors and developers – many affiliated with a group called NYSAFAH  – who we believe have built substandard housing, while reaping the rewards of millions of dollars' worth of taxpayer funds.  We are here today to say enough is enough.  Now is the time to once and for all fix our homes and the HPD building process."

HPD is the New York City agency charged with building and preserving New York City's affordable housing.  Under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's mandate, HPD was charged with building or rehabilitating 165,000 units of affordable housing.   During that period of time, HPD was embroiled in a series of scandals that exposed rampart corruption by HPD officials and contractors.

United States Congressman Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) said, "It's unfortunate that many of the homeowners who bought their homes under the HPD program are facing many difficulties within the current system.   As we move forward with Mayor de Blasio's ambitious goal of creating 200,000 new units of affordable housing, we must make sure that these units are built properly and that future homeowners are protected.  Only with comprehensive HPD procurement reform can that be accomplished.  I will work closely with my colleagues in city and state government to improve upon the HPD program to protect my constituents and other residents of the City who live in HPD housing."

Under the leadership of Mayor de Blaiso, New York City is poised to undertake the most ambitious affordable housing program in a generation.   For too long elected officials have danced around the edges of the systemic problems that continue to plague HPD.   As result of the way HPD has awarded contracts, millions of dollars have been misappropriated, workers have been exploited and residents have been left with shoddy, dangerous homes.  Thousands of hard working New Yorkers, who trusted HPD and the City when they entered into agreements to buy homes, continue to live in the horrible, dangerous homes, built by HPD and their corrupt contractors.   Further adding to the outrage and anger of the homeowners and their supporters is a recently filed frivolous lawsuit by BFC partners, a major HPD developer.

"I am in shock," said Judith Febbraro, one of the homeowners being sued.  "I thought as an American I had a right to ask my elected officials for help.  Because I asked for help, a rich, powerful contractor, who appears to be very politically connected, is trying to destroy me.  I can't fight him and I can't win.  All I ever wanted was a safe, clean home, for me and my neighbors.  That is what the City promised us and that is all we have ever asked and paid for," added Febbraro.

Civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland, of The Kurland Group, the firm representing the 3 individuals being sued said,   "Tenants should not have to fear being sued for millions of dollars because they complain about problems with their housing conditions.  Powerful moneyed interests like the developer who brought this suit should be held accountable for misusing our legal system to bring frivolous lawsuits that seek to bully HPD homeowners who dare to ask for help into silence.  New York's Civil Rights law makes it illegal to sue a private citizen who speaks out on public issues and people who bring such suits can be held liable for damages.   Demanding that HPD housing be built well is protected speech and we intend to seek all possible damages against the developer for bringing this suit against these homeowners."

Robert Bonanza, business manager of the 17,000 member Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York said, "Unfortunately this is once again an example of the systemic problems that exist at HPD.  These homeowners are just the latest example of the thousands of New Yorkers who have played by the rules, thought they were getting a fair deal from the City and HPD, and now find themselves in poorly built, dangerous homes.  And for a developer, who has made millions off the backs of these New Yorkers, to now sue these homeowners, is so offensive that it defies all reason.  Homeowners have suffered in these dangerous homes, workers have been robbed of millions of dollars of wages and benefits, yet these contractors and developers continue to reap the benefits of millions in profits from HPD projects.  However, we stand at the crossroads of a new day, and under the leadership of Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito I hope that we can finally address the systemic problems that have plagued HPD for years."  

SOURCE Justice for Homeowners

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, discussed how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved efficienc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
To leverage Continuous Delivery, enterprises must consider impacts that span functional silos, as well as applications that touch older, slower moving components. Managing the many dependencies can cause slowdowns. See how to achieve continuous delivery in the enterprise.
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
As companies gain momentum, the need to maintain high quality products can outstrip their development team’s bandwidth for QA. Building out a large QA team (whether in-house or outsourced) can slow down development and significantly increases costs. This eBook takes QA profiles from 5 companies who successfully scaled up production without building a large QA team and includes: What to consider when choosing CI/CD tools How culture and communication can make or break implementation
Actian Corporation has announced the latest version of the Actian Vector in Hadoop (VectorH) database, generally available at the end of July. VectorH is based on the same query engine that powers Actian Vector, which recently doubled the TPC-H benchmark record for non-clustered systems at the 3000GB scale factor (see tpc.org/3323). The ability to easily ingest information from different data sources and rapidly develop queries to make better business decisions is becoming increasingly importan...