Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist. Erik is a member of the People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street and co-writer of the Occupy Wall Street’s Declaration of the Occupation of New York City. As a published freelance photographer, he has documented activist groups actions in NYC since 2011.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Community residents and organizations protest outside of New York stock exchange against Ben Carson's housing cuts
New York City - On his visit to New York, Secretary Ben Carson was confronted by Community Voices Heard (CVH) protesting outside of the New York Stock Exchange on June 12,2017; in hopes that Secretary Ben Carson meet with the organizations that are affected by the HUD cut proposal.
Community Voices Heard, a community activist organization started by single mothers on public assistance in NYC more than two decades ago, was at the forefront of the #NoCuts Coalition rally, along with its allies.
If enacted, Ben Carson’s proposed budget cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would put hundreds of thousands of Americans in immediate danger of losing their homes in public housing developments or privately owned buildings. Others would continue to live in unhealthy sub-par conditions because repairs would be further delayed, and critical upgrades would be cancelled for lack of funding. Such conditions include the persistent existence of mold in NYC Housing Authority apartments, which is caused by leaky roofs and faulty pipes in buildings that are 70 years old.
NYC neighborhoods like Red Hook, Brooklyn, will be hit extremely hard by this proposal, Jill Eisenhard, Founder and Executive Director of Red Hook Initiative (RHI), said“ The proposed HUD budget cuts will have a devastating effect on public housing residents, especially young residents seeking affordable options in New York City. The proposed rent increases will cause further burden for residents already struggling to make ends meet in unsafe and unhealthy living environments. Ben Carson should be promoting further investment in NYCHA, not less.”
"We are in the midst of a national housing crisis, and Ben Carson wants to implement Trump's plan, which will turn our housing stock over to Wall Street: that is a disaster," said Maria Beri, member of New York Communities for Change and NYCHA resident.
"We should be clear, the result of these policies will be that people like me end up in the street, and Wall Street firms that backed Trump -- like Blackstone -- will be getting even richer. The consequences are devastating; our New York elected officials need to fight for us and against these cuts and this back-door privatization scheme."
Trump’s funding cuts will reduce Section 8 Housing Vouchers for more than 26,000 individuals, which will increase the risk of homelessness. In addition the reduction in the operating subsidies to the New York City Housing Authority. Projects likely to be scrapped include replacement of old boilers, resulting in even more breakdowns, and even more days without heat or hot water. Tenants would have to find other housing after five years. Thousands of rent-subsidy vouchers would be eliminated.