Tags: housing | new york | coronavirus | public housing | tenants

NYC Public Housing Residents Feel Pain, Loss From Pandemic

NYC Public Housing Residents Feel Pain, Loss From Pandemic
Public housing in Brooklyn. (Spencer Platt/Getty)

By    |   Friday, 10 April 2020 10:57 PM

The coronavirus is ravaging New York City's public housing system and its tenants, Politico reported.

The virus is sweeping through the roughly 174,000 apartments overseen by the New York City Housing Authority, threatening the economic picture for the agency and worsening inequalities that already plague low-income communities, the news outlet reported. 

Many NYCHA tenants have pre-existing medical conditions. Many are seniors or frontline workers who risk their health while on the job and then come back to apartments cramped with family members sheltering in place.

“So many people have died this week,” Lisa Kenner, resident association president at Van Dyke Houses in Brooklyn, told the news outlet. “It’s enough.”

According to Kenner, 10 residents have died in their apartments at Van Dyke. In one case, the bodies of a mother and son were discovered in their unit only after the smell prompted neighbors to call city officials. 

New Yorkers have been dying in their homes at around 10 times the usual rate, Politico reported, citing city statistics. Several officials have said the majority of these cases stem from low-income residents who cannot afford access to the traditional health care system or are illegal immigrants afraid to seek help.

"Residents are experiencing challenges, suffering, hardship, fortitude and survival, along with the entire community," NYCHA spokesperson Barbara Brancaccio told Politico in a statement.

"We are heartbroken to hear that we have lost members of our NYCHA family.”

Kenner said she had to turn to the nonprofit City Harvest to deliver meals to seniors after an order placed through the city for Meals on Wheels delivery never arrived — a problem affecting older residents across the city.

She also tapped into her federal money for the resident association to purchase 2,000 masks — something NYCHA has encouraged — after seeing seniors and other residents leaving their apartments without protective equipment to get food and medicine. 

She lamented that though NYCHA has been effective at communicating with residents about social distancing and what to do if they cannot pay rent, the burdens are piling up.

“It’s really getting to people mentally,” she said.

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The coronavirus is ravaging New York City's public housing system and its tenants, Politico reported.
housing, new york, coronavirus, public housing, tenants
Friday, 10 April 2020 10:57 PM
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