‘Sustaining Our Ground’: Community Empowerment in Bed-Stuy

City Council member Alicka Ampry-Samuel addresses the Oct. 30 Sustaining Our Ground Community Empowerment Forum. (Photo by Jaymi Perkins via Kings County Politics)

“Pure outrage” compelled residents to turn out at Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza for the Sustaining Our Ground Community Empowerment Forum, led by City Council member Alicka Ampry-Samuel, reports Jaymi Perkins for Kings County Politics. The event comes after the publication brought to light story after story of Black and Latino homeowners losing their properties to the city.

Ampry-Samuel shared a story of the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) disconnect with long time tenants, recounting a time housing employees changed locks on a tenants’ door while the tenant [lay] dead in her bedroom, just feet away from the front entrance.

Ampry-Samuel explained her fight for the rights of tenants kept her huddled in a five-hour 40-minute meeting earlier this week. The results of the conference detailed the conversion of Section 8, which is a housing subsidy granted to low-income renters, into a Section 9 agreement, which ultimately cuts the monetary funds that are currently being received by lower-income persons.

Under section 9, funding would be allocated to properties that are steadily popping up around the county. While hopes for a better apartment is centered around a city-wide lottery, many of the apartments being auctioned off represents roughly 30% of the building while the other 70% are being sold or rented at market value, Ampry-Samuel said.

Then there’s the matter of the increasing privatization of NYCHA. Go to Kings County Politics to read more on this concern plus discussions on systematic disparity, community sustainability and what one community board member advised residents to do to get their voices heard.

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