Schumer broke a promise to put public housing funding into the Infrastructure Bill. Now, he risks breaking a second promise about the Budget Reconciliation.

Is Majority Leader Charles Schumer going to betray the New Deal promise of public housing ?

Members of Fight For NYCHA were present at the 18 April press conference, where Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) promised to put $80 billion in funding for public housing into the President’s Infrastructure Bill. Sen. Schumer said that the initial proposal of $40 billion that President Joseph Biden (D) had suggested was too low and that the increase would allow NYCHA to receive the $40 billion it needed to complete the backlog of capital repairs that have been used as an excuse by Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) to sell-out NYCHA with RAD/PACT, infill development, and air rights sales.

However, after President Biden gave the keys to the Kingdom to Senate Republicans, they succeeded in watering-down the Infrastructure Bill, leaving no money for public housing. None ! That meant that, as of 24 June, once the GOP compromise was detailed by the White House, Sen. Schumer’s first lie was exposed.

We need the $40 billion that is owed to the New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA, for capital repair funding in order to stop the privatization of public housing. We need to save Section 9 housing.

Even though President Biden closed the door on the Infrastructure Bill negotiations, Sen. Schumer has continued to advocate for $80 billion for public housing in “infrastructure” spending, including at a 23 July photo-op at the Oceanside Houses in Far Rockaway, Queens. But the Infrastructure Bill was already closed to negotiations. What Sen. Schumer not being honest with us ?

There is a corrupt bait and switch going on, and public housing residents will pay for it in higher rents, threats of evictions, and violations of their civil rights.

Since there’s been no money for public housing, unscrupulous politicians, like Mayor de Blasio, are using Section 8 conversions under RAD/PACT and the proposed Blueprint scheme to end Section 9 housing. This effectively ends the New Deal promise of public housing, which was for the Government to admit that it had a role in providing safe and sanitary housing to people at low-cost. What is happening now is that corrupt politicians are using the Section 8 rental assistance voucher programme to replace Section 9, something that was never intended to occur when Section 8 vouchers were first created.

The RAD/PACT scheme that Mayor de Blasio has been promoting leads to higher rents, higher risks of evictions, and violations of tenants’ civil rights. It’s a bad deal that tenants need to reject, and Sen. Schumer knows that.

Now, Sen. Schumer is promising us the public housing funding in the Budget Reconciliation, but that comes with strings attached, like we can’t demand forensic audits of public housing authorities, and we can’t repeal the Faircloth Amendment that caps the construction of new public housing. We’re scared that politicians will use these limitations to either accelerate Section 8 conversions, or do something worse, like end all Section 9 housing in one fell swoop.

Because Sen. Schumer’s office has begun to use parliamentary rules that stem from the filibuster to qualify that public housing funding can’t come with greater tenant protections, this puts public housing residents at-risk for bad leases, increased costs, and evictions. As a result, we increasingly feel that H.R.235 — the bill to fully-fund public housing — should be passed as a standalone bill after it has been increased to guarantee $40 billion to NYCHA to save Section 9 housing and amended to include forensic audit requirements, a repeal of the Faircloth Amendment, education and jobs programs for public housing residents, a repeal of Section 8 conversion schemes, including RAD/PACT, and a provision that any disposition of public housing assets be subjected to the local community approval process that is in effect in each Municipal jurisdiction. This would stop the privatization of public housing.

Since Sen. Schumer doesn’t inspire confidence, we have begun to flyer about these truths, because we are tired of Sen. Schumer coming up short. If he doesn’t pass H.R. 235 as a standalone bill in a way that does not permit Section 8 vouchers to replace Section 9 housing, we will begin to work with anyone, even the DSA, to see that Sen. Schumer is primaried in the 2022 Midterms. As much as we distrust the DSA, we know that they are focused only on self-interest, as is AOC. They only think of opportunism, self-promotion, and expediency. “Power can be beautiful,” AOC said to CNN for her new 2022 Midterms fundraising infomercial, in which she herself doesn’t rule out a primary challenge to Sen. Schumer. That’s a mighty powerful convergence of forces that Sen. Schumer would have to overcome.

New York has become a battleground for a new Democratic Party, where Christine Quinn, Joseph Crowley, Eliot Engel, Corey Johnson, and Jimmy Van Bramer have seen their political careers come to an end after people reached their limits with being sold out. Now, Sen. Schumer gets to decide if he faces the same prospect.

If Sen. Charles Schumer doesn’t save Section 9 public housing, will voters will serve an “Eviction Notice” on him in the 2021 Midterms ?

Mayor Bill de Blasio can’t work alone to sell-out NYCHA before his term is up without the help of other Democrats. Here are some of them.

A mayor left unindicted following a wide-ranging, Federal corruption investigation finds it easy to attract collaborators in the disposition of strategic public assets, like NYCHA public housing using the Blueprint scheme, for example.

As revealed by Fight For NYCHA, Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) has been pressuring fellow Democrats to vote to approve the Blueprint scheme that will convert all non-RAD/PACT public housing apartments into a new entity that will effectively bring about the end of all Section 9 public housing in New York City.

A group of New York State legislators, which appears to include State Sen. Julia Salazar (D-Bushwick), State Sen. Jabari Brisport (D-Bed-Stuy), Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes (D-Red Hook), and notable DSA member Cea Weaver, negotiated over the minutiae of the legislation, giving the impression that they would vote to approve or support the Blueprint with minor conditions.

Under the Blueprint scheme, Mayor de Blasio would transfer all public housing apartments not meant for RAD/PACT to a new creature of Albany that would have no political accountability for bureaucratic failure.

U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley III has ruled that public housing residents, who get converted to Section 8 vouchers, as contemplated by the Blueprint scheme, could legally receive separate but unequal rights. Under the Blueprint, for example, Section 8 residents would not receive any protections offered by the Revised Consent Decree in the Baez class action lawsuit.

The Parties to the Baez litigation owe Judge Pauley a status report by June 14. Before NYCHA must return to Court, Mayor de Blasio has been strong-arming his Albany co-conspirators to vote to approve the Blueprint on or by June 10, so that, once the Parties report-back to Judge Pauley, they can inform His Honour that Albany has approved the eventual end to Section 9 housing.

An end to Section 9 housing would be the death knell to the New Deal promise to public housing.

An estimated 600,000 individuals live in apartments owned and operated by NYCHA. Ending Section 9 housing would be the next step in the Government’s wholesale abandonment of its obligations to public housing residents, something that Conservatives have long sought.

Mayor de Blasio couldn’t be able to bring about an end to NYCHA’s New Deal promise without the help of the DSA wing of Albany Legislators and other collaborators. Corruption of this scale takes a lot of work and coördination. Not even Mayor de Blasio’s reported issues over how he appears to use Government approvals for real estate contracts in order to fundraise for his various political committees have proved to be a concern for his allies. Mayor de Blasio was left unindicted following the completion of a wide-ranging, Federal corruption investigation into his campaign finance activities.

The sell-out of NYCHA public housing by Mayor de Blasio and his allies in the DSA wing of the Democratic Party comes as Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) has proposed to improve H.R. 235 to fully-fund the backlog of capital repairs to the entire Nation’s public housing stock.

Certain participants in the real estate development industry are allegedly demanding that Mayor de Blasio and other Electeds advance the approval of major real estate development projects, including the disposition of strategic public assets, before the election of the next class of Municipal Legislators poses problems for the large-scale real estate developers.

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