Organizers who target public housing have one thing going for them: The density of public housing makes it easy to reach a lot of potential voters fast—and then to follow up with them.
Getting the money is only one problem facing NYCHA’s capital program: Another is spending that money wisely.
In 1989, the Housing Police counted 182 murders in the projects. The number of murders in public housing had risen five times as fast as the city total. That increase contributed mightily to the deteriorating image and reality of life in the projects.
The Bible reading during the Mass near the empty NYCHA complex was apropos. “Like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it,” the passage from I Corinthians read. “But each one must be careful how he builds upon it.”
For the past six years the funding from the federal government has fallen far short time and again. And the city and state have also stopped their annual support for the system.