Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal has secured $125,000 in state and municipal funding to replace long defunct compactors and security upgrades at NYCHA’s Pomonok Houses, after hosting NYCHA Chair Gregory Russ earlier this year following a high volume of complaints from the community.
Rosenthal was joined by Tamika Williams, president of the Residents Association, and Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who recently submitted $250,000 for the development-wide repairs of exterior lights, at the Pomonok Houses on Aug. 21.
Alongside other elected representatives and the Resident’s Association, Rosenthal organized a property walkthrough at Pomonok Houses. The stakeholders discussed and surveyed a litany of challenges afflicting the 35 buildings that house 4,200 residents in total.
Among the issues raised at the meeting were unsanitary conditions from the accumulation of trash due to inoperable compactors.
“With this grant, we can begin to tackle the hazardous sanitation conditions faced by residents for too far long,” Rosenthal said. “Amid the greatest health crisis of a century, we cannot stand idly by while our community is knowingly in harm’s way.”
Another crucial focus of the meeting was the security concerns created from dozens of broken outside lights, which Senator Stavisky has identified as one of her capital funding focuses.
Stavisky had toured Pomonok Houses in February after her office received numerous complaints from residents over deteriorating conditions and inadequate security features.
“Because no one should ever feel insecure or vulnerable in their own homes and neighborhoods, I was able to allocate funding to help restore exterior lighting for residents and upgrade safety measures throughout the Pomonok community,” Stavisky said. “We want the Pomonok Houses to be considered a ‘crown jewel’ of the New York City Housing Authority, and we need to continue to work diligently to improve the quality of life for residents.”
The Pomonok Houses are the largest concentration of individual developments in Queens built in 1952 utilizing its original antiquated system of malfunctioning equipment, according to Williams.
“NYCHA has adopted the practice of making small repairs that affix ‘band-aid’ remediation while accruing major capital expenses. Garbage disposals, trash compactors and containers all have a 10 percent depreciation rate which has far outlived its lifespan of 10 years,” Williams said. “Pomonk is a beautiful community housed on a 52-acre landscape that is riddled with dark and gloomy areas which are breeding grounds for crime and vermin. While residents are met with huge bags of garbage at their entrances, vermin also greet their presence, tearing into garbage bags and feeding on its contents.”
Williams said their goal is to curtail major pest issues and enhance lighting security so residents feel safe.
“We would like to thank our local government, Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal and Senator Toby Stavisky for not only acknowledging the need and impact of safe and sanitary living conditions, but also for the commitment to improve the quality of life at Pomonok Houses and its surrounding communities,” Williams said.