Tuesday, October 27, 2009

UN Housing Rapporteur Visits NYC

This week the MOM Housing Justice Committee helped to welcome the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Raquel Rolnik, to New York City in an event hosted by our allies at Picture the Homeless.

This was Ms. Rolnik's first official mission to the U.S., and similar events took place in Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Pine Ridge Reservation SD, Washington DC, and Wilkes-Barre PA. In addition to the NYC town hall meeting, the Rapporteur toured the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens to investigate homelessness and housing conditions to inform her findings, reports, and recommendations to the United Nations and U.S. Government. More info on the Mission is available HERE.

At the packed Town Hall event Ms. Rolnik heard testimony from New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, foreclosures, and problems with public housing. MOM Housing Justice Committee members from Forest Houses turned out to represent for their development and for all South Bronx NYCHA (NYC Housing Authority) residents bearing the brunt of the long-term, systematic underfunding of public housing and other vital services.

MOM Housing Justice member Janette Alcava gave testimony that addressed the need for more services in public housing for families raising children with special needs, and raised concerns around the NYC Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) unjust mandatory community service requirement, which does not exempt her even though she is head of household and also the sole care provider of a special needs child. Ms. Lorraine Trent - addressed the media on the troubles faced by people in homeless shelters, and the dire situation within Public housing in and outside New York City.

More coverage of the event:

Picture the Homeless

New York Times

Village Voice