Councilmember Ampry-Samuel and Assemblyman Cymbrowitz Tour Ocean Bay Apartments in Far Rockaway

Visit marks start of Assembly-Council partnership to ensure improved housing conditions at NYCHA
June 16, 2018

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee, and City Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Chair of the City Council’s Public Housing Committee, led a tour of Ocean Bay Apartments in Far Rockaway, Queens, the start of a working partnership between the New York State Assembly and New York City Council dedicated to ensuring improved conditions for the 400,000 tenants who live in NYCHA housing.

Joining them on the visit were State Senator James Sanders, Jr., Assemblywoman Michele R. Titus and Councilmember Donovan J. Richards, whose districts include the development.

Ocean Bay is NYCHA’s first conversion under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), which allows housing authorities to access private capital to meet capital needs while also protecting long-term affordability. Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) is New York City’s implementation of RAD, which includes collaboration between NYCHA, residents, the community and housing advocates.

In June 2017, NYCHA, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, and HUD announced $560 million in federal, state, city, and private investment in Ocean Bay to finance essential infrastructure upgrades, support state-of-the-art resiliency and security systems, and the renovation and preservation of the complex, which is home to nearly 4,000 residents. This project is the largest single-site RAD transaction in the country.

“I’m pleased to join Councilmember Ampry-Samuel as we establish a working partnership between the NYC Council and NYS Assembly with the goal of improving conditions at NYCHA developments,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. “Affordable housing is critical to our city and NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in North America. As leaders in State and City Housing, our goal is to ensure that all NYCHA tenants are able to live in safe, quality housing and that the serious issues that came to light are resolved moving forward.”

The tour included meetings with the NYCHA Real Estate Department to learn more about RAD works and with NYCHA’s Resident Engagement Unit to learn what NYCHA is doing to engage with residents before, during, and after the RAD conversion, how tenants’ rights are secured through the process, and heard feedback from Residents’ Association leadership. Assemblyman Cymbrowitz and Councilmember Ampry-Samuel also toured the grounds and explored the improvements to infrastructure, amenities, and apartments.

Both Councilmember Ampry-Samuel and Assemblyman Cymbrowitz had experience with NYCHA and affordable housing before serving in public office. Councilmember Ampry-Samuel grew up in a Brownsville NYCHA development and was the senior advisor within NYCHA’s Community Engagement and Partnerships Division just prior to her election to the City Council in 2017. Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, an 18-year veteran of the Assembly, was formerly NYCHA’s Director of Intergovernmental Relations and served as both an Assistant Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner at the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).