Okay once again it’s time for some REAL TALK!
The Greenburgh Housing Authority’s Executive Director Raju Abraham sent a strongly worded email, Thursday afternoon to the Greenburgh Human Rights Advisory Committee that if they continue with their scheduled Rally, Sunday, August 22nd that they will be arrested.
Please be informed that 100 Greenvale Circle is owned by Greenburgh Heights LLC, a private entity, which is managed by the Greenburgh Housing Authority. I have been informed via social media and other sources that an organization named “ Greenburgh Human Rights “ and Greenburgh Human Rights Advisory Committee chaired by you, is holding a Tenant rally on this property on August 22, 2021 at 6 PM. We don’t allow, and we have not given permission for such rallies and gatherings to be held on our property and it will be construed as trespassing on private property . We have informed authorities on this matter. We request you to take necessary actions to prevent this rally from taking place on our property.
Greenburgh Housing Authority
9 Maple Street, White Plains, NY 10603.
Ph. 914 946 2110
The Greenburgh Human Rights Advisory Committee – that serves as a resource to help facilitate better understanding among the diverse groups in the Town of Greenburgh. NY. – agreed to refrain from holding a committee-sanctioned rally. But several individuals acting on their own tell Black Westchester they refuse to stand down, vowing to continue with the rally Sunday from 6-8PM as scheduled to advocate for the residents being relocated. They say they will be there letting the residents know their rights and that they have resources like the Westchester Residential Opportunities.
“Black people are free,” Housing Advocate, Mechelle Brown and Stephanie Swann, who is a resident of Greenburgh Heights LLC, shared with Black Westchester. “People that live in the Greenburgh Housing Authority are entitled to invite people to their homes to exercise their First Amendment – that guarantees freedom of expression the right of citizens to assemble peaceably. We were invited by the residents and fully plan to be there for them.”
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner stated in a follow-up email that he would be happy to participate in meetings with tenants and to use my office to help the Housing Authority make the temporary move as stress-less as possible.
“I like the idea of having individual meetings in different complexes with as many tenants who would like to participate. Town officials, the housing authority, the housing action council and tenants can all meet together. Hopefully, we can help find housing within or very close to the school district,” Feiner wrote. “And we could ease some of the anxiety that many of the tenants have. I’m hopeful that at the end of the process the tenants will feel that we all tried hard and fought for a good quality of life for them while construction took place.”
This is where I am a little confused. If the Town Supervisor likes the idea of having meetings at the different complexes why is the Greenburgh Housing Authority threatening to have those scheduling to rally behind the tenants arrested? Aren’t the GHA appointed by the Town Board? A quick google search revealed that Board is comprised of four Council members, who are elected for a four year term, and the Supervisor who is elected for a two year term. Are the officials of Greenburgh taking out of both sides of their mouth?
According to their website, “At the Greenburgh Housing Authority, the tenant matters!” Their Customer Care Service Pledge states Greenburgh Housing Authority commissioners and employees are dedicated to providing you excellent service. We thank you for being our clients. Our goals is to completely satisfy your housing needs. That’s all sounds good, but from the tenants we have spoke to, they do not feel like they matter and are receiving anything but the excellent care the GHA pledge on their website.
So for those keeping score or playing catch, allow me to go back to how Black Westchester first got involved. Black Westchester received a letter to the editor that alleged Seniors being displaced. We received several calls and emails from residents for about three weeks about he situation, mostly in support of the allegations in the letter asking me to help shed light on what’s going. Then we started receiving emails from the Executive Director of the Greenburgh Housing Authority (GHA) Raju Abraham and received links to a video of a meeting where members of the GHA stating the letter to the editor was full of misrepresentation of the facts. We received calls about residents being silent when trying to speak up including a senior or two. So after many calls for Black Westchester to look into what’s really going on we scheduled a special edition our weekly talk radio show, People Before Politics. Friday, March 19th and Dr. Bob and myself held a forum to open up dialog to try to bring out some solutions. We invited the Chairman of GHA’s Board Bishop Wilbert Preston – who says the letter by Greenburgh Housing Authority’s Federal Sites Commissioner Renee Robinson was misleading – Town of Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner, Executive Director of Greenburgh /Ceo Greenburgh Housing Authority, Raju Abraham (who did not appear on the show), Greenburgh Housing Authority’s Federal Sites Commissioner Renee Robinson, Former Greenburgh Housing Authority State Site Commissioner Clifford Abramson (who did not appear on the show), Town Supervisor Candidate Tasha Young (who has been advocating for those relocated) and a few others including one senior, Mrs. Lorraine Frazier who came of to backed up Commissioner Renee Robinson’s letter, as well as share her experience (no heat and broken toilet that keep backing up) and the experience of other seniors (who are without food and ended up in a nursing home) who feared retaliation and did not want to appear.
We scheduled a special edition of PBP Radio, five months ago today on March 19th and we are no closer to getting to the bottom of things and have not received any responses to our follow up emails requesting updates spoken about during the show. We promised then the show wasn’t going to be a one off and we weren’t going anywhere. You can watch the recording of the radio show here, and see what was said and promised five months ago. As promised on the show to all involved Black Westchester will be following this situation all the way through and continue to shed light on what’s going on with the Greenburgh Housing Relocation Crisis and will report back what happens Sunday evening at the rally. We invite all involved to contact us for a follow up interview because