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City housing chief Richard Roberts has a strategy for raising the profile of low-income housing to the public–and his boss Rudy Giuliani: Sell it as a public safety issue.

“We have an obligation to make the connection between [the city's development efforts] and law enforcement,” Roberts said at the Citizens Housing and Planning Council forum Wednesday. “It's certainly a connection that the mayor will have an easy time making once it's presented to him.”

Roberts, who became commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development a year ago, also took the opportunity to blast critics who say he is presiding over a dying agency. “When I was first hired, City Limits quoted a source saying they could only get someone young and inexperienced to take a job on the Titanic,” he added. “I'm very happy to be on the Titanic. It happens to be the best-selling movie of all time.”