Cynthia Nixon Calls NYC Public Housing Conditions ‘Devastating'

What to Know

  • New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon is challenging incumbent Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination
  • Continuing her campaign Wednesday, Nixon toured a public housing building in Brooklyn and called conditions "devastating"
  • Cuomo's office says he's on the side of the tenants and is pushing for an executive order declaring an emergency over NYCHA

Actress and gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon has visited a New York City public housing high-rise where she says conditions are "devastating."

Nixon toured the Albany Houses in Crown Heights on Wednesday along with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Some residents said they use the toilets while holding open umbrellas under leaking ceilings. They said holes in walls used by rodents don't get fixed for years.

Nixon said the bad conditions are "killing the residents here." She said it shouldn't be this way in 2018.

"It was really awful. It was devastating," she said afterward.

The account was similar to the one Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered last week after touring NYCHA houses. "It's miserable, awful," he said at the time. 

Cuomo is fighting for $550 million in state funding for the New York City Housing Authority. He said Wednesday he won't sign the state budget unless it includes "real and immediate remedies" for the authority's tenants.

Nixon is challenging Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for governor.

The mayor has blamed both state and federal budget cuts for crumbling conditions. Nixon said Wednesday, "Every branch of government has neglected these residents." 

She singled out Housing Authority Chair Shola Olatoye, who kept her job amid fury that she hadn't disclosed lead contamination in some buildings.

"I am very troubled the chair knew about the lead paint and did not inform the families," said Nixon. "But even if you replace her, the next person will have the same problem." 

But Nixon also blasted the governor for not delivering more state funding to fix the infrastructure. Cuomo's office responded, "The Governor is on the side of the tenants and is pushing the Assembly and the Senate to accomplish what the tenants demand: an executive order declaring an emergency over NYCHA." 

Some residents said they feel like political pawns.

"Actions speak louder than words. It's all about politics, meanwhile people suffering. They shouldn't have to suffer," said NYCHA tenant Calvin Drumgo. 

"I remember being born and raised here. I can tell the difference. Somebody stopped caring baout us," said Kayaswona Williams. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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