Rep. Maloney Joins NYCHA Residents and Climate Activists to Push for Sweeping Climate Reform for Next Generation of New Yorkers

Apr 23, 2021
Press Release

NEW YORK, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) today joined with NYCHA residents and climate activists outside of the Astoria Houses Community Center to announce the introduction of the Congresswoman’s Public Housing Solar Equity Act and highlight the need for the Green New Deal for Public Housing. Climate change is one of the most pressing threats that New Yorkers face, and Congresswoman Maloney has been at the forefront of the movement to bring climate justice to New York City. 

The Public Housing Solar Equity Act would ensure that when a public housing authority such as NYCHA sells or leases assets to private companies for the installation of solar panels, residents’ needs come first by ensuring the sale or lease benefits those residents.

The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, of which Congresswoman Maloney is an original cosponsor, would strengthen public housing communities by investing up to $172 billion over ten years to improve living conditions in an environmentally-sustainable way. This legislation would also create good, clean jobs through sustainable retrofitting, rehabilitation, and decarbonization projects in public housing communities nationwide.

 

“Climate change is one of the single most pressing threats facing New Yorkers, this country, and the global community. And our most vulnerable communities are bearing the brunt of the consequences” said Congresswoman Maloney.  “As we look to the future, to building back better, we must do so with a focus on climate justice. In our city, that means investing in a green future for New York’s public housing. My Public Housing Solar Equity Act would guarantee that when a public housing authority like NYCHA sells or leases any of its assets in connection with solar energy projects, the transaction directly benefits residents. As we work to make sure everyone has access to the clean, affordable housing they need and deserve, let’s expand our goals to make these communities green, too. For the health of our residents and for our environment, we can’t afford anything less.”

 

“We are here to represent Astoria Houses and we know it inside out,” said Claudia Coger, President, Astoria Houses Residents’ Association. “We are here to ensure that we are being served properly and especially with the environment. We sit between two power plants and that’s causing our children to have asthma pumps at home and at school. These are expenses that come out of people’s pockets.”

 

“The disinvestment into public housing over many decades has exacerbated and caused grave environmental issues. NYCHA has been in a state of crisis with no real relief,” said Saundrea I. Coleman, Co-Founder of the Holmes-Isaacs Coalition and Co-Chair of The Social Justice Committee of Manhattan Community Board 8.  “The Public Housing Solar Equity Act, The Green New Deal as well as other bills that will stir funding into public housing should be passed to preserve the homes of residents and see to it that we will be able to live in humane conditions. I welcome these bills because it gives stakeholders like myself hope.”

 

“As a NYCHA resident, community organizer and activist, I have not only seen how systematic racism has contributed to the poor health and unnecessary stress of my black and brown people, but my family is a product of it,” said La Keesha Taylor, Co-Founder of the Holmes-Isaacs Coalition & Graduate of the Movement School. “With failing elevators, my children now worry about their safety daily. I see the GND4PH as the only true saving grace for NYCHA and the way the federal government can right the wrong of the many years of disinvestment.”

 

“I support the Green New Deal for Public Housing,” said Stan Morse, Justice for All Coalition. “We are living in an environmental disaster with no gas and no heat. It’s outrageous and something has to be done now. We can not afford to wait. People are dying.”

 

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