Senator Jeff Klein has come through in a major way for people living in public housing in his district.
The senator announced on Friday, August 29 the allocation of a $3.71 million state capital grant that will provide improvements to New York City Housing Authority complexes.
The funds will be spent on improvements to the apartments themselves, as well as to recreational areas and for security in the three NYCHA projects in his district.
“Securing money for the Sack Wern, Pelham Parkway and Throggs Neck Houses this year was a top priority of mine,” said Klein. “The residents of these buildings were in need of long overdue upgrades to their kitchen facilities, required additional safety lighting and requested help with their grounds. These improvements will go a long way to not only enhancing the quality of life for these working families, but ensuring their safety as well.”
For Councilman Ritchie Torres, the allocation is personal.
“The residents of public housing, including my own mother who lives in Throggs Neck Houses, have a powerful ally in Senator Jeff Klein,” said Torres. “I thank the senator for his commitment to improving the amenities and living conditions for thousands of tenants.”
He added: “The senator’s commitment of $3.7 million in capital grants is the beginning of a new era of state reinvestment in public housing.”
The funding includes $2.1 million to install safety lighting in common areas of the Pelham Parkway Houses, $1.5 million for the reconstruction of a sports field in the Throggs Neck Houses, and $410,000 for renovation and improvements at the Sack Wern complex in Soundview, including replacement of appliances like stoves and refrigerators.
In Throggs Neck, the money will be used for the reconstruction of a baseball field on Dewey Avenue, said Throggs Neck Houses Resident Council president Monique Johnson.
“It is a baseball field right now, but with the $1.5 million we will be able to transform it into a multi-purpose field: it will be football, baseball, track,” she said. “This is something that we have been trying to get done for the longest time because we have been unable to use the baseball field for two years. We have stadium lights and two of them fell.”
Because of the ongoing safety issue caused by the fallen debris, and the possibility of more felled lighting, no one has been able use the field, she said.
Sack Wern Houses Residents’ Council president Loretta Masterson said she was grateful for what Senator Klein can do for the residents, and said he had visited Sack Wern and heard their concerns.
According to published reports, federal spending on public housing has declined in the past decade, leaving backlogs of needed repairs.