Red Hook Homelessness Meeting

This morning, I as well as many other Red Hook residents, attended a meeting set up by Councilman Menchaca, to discuss the temporary shelter located at a hotel, here in Red Hook. For those of you that could not attend, I have created a link for you to listen to the meeting. Please excuse the background noise. Link:

I am not surprised

The meeting that was scheduled for tomorrow regarding the new Red Hook shelter/hotel with Councilman Menchaca has been canceled, as Robert Berrios indicated earlier. This is not surprising but disappointing.
The fact that the meeting will not happen does not answer my questions that I was preparing.
Let me first preface that I am not against having a shelter in Red Hook. We have a responsibility to those that live in our community; if someone or a family has the misfortune to be put out on the street, it is our responsibility to help them in any way possible.
Here are some questions I would have had for the meeting:
  • How many of the people in the shelter lived in Red Hook before their homelessness occurred?
  • How many people are living there now regardless of where they came from before?
  • And what is the maximum number of people you expect?
  • How many children are in the shelter?
  • How and where are they going to school each morning?
  • Are there any sex offenders living in the shelter?
  • How are you helping these people to find permanent housing?
  • Some of these people may have jobs that are insufficient to pay the high rents in Brooklyn, are you helping them to locate better jobs?
  • How does your organization choose and shelter or hotel when placing the homeless?
My comments:
  • As of Sunday, December 16th, there were 61,005 individuals living in New York City shelters. And in the Executive Summary of a report, I read: DHS is planning to reduce the census by 2,500 people within the next 5 years. It is ridiculous to think that we will ever be able to help these people with current thinking.
  • This is not only a New York City problem; New York state has more than 92,000 homeless with the whole of the United States at 553,000 homeless.
  • In comparison, NY is fairing better in getting people into shelters with 95.3% living in shelters compared to California, with 129,972 homeless and only 31.1% living in shelters.
The Mayor and DHS tout about how the mayor's housing plan will create 300,000 apartments in NYC. We all know that is crap. Here is a quote from the Coalition for the Homeless in their report titled, "STATE OF THE HOMELESS 2018"
  • "Mayor de Blasio has made one of his signature policy goals the unprecedented creation and preservation of 300,000 units of affordable housing, as outlined in his Housing New York 2.0 plan. However, he is planning to designate just 15,000 of these units for homeless households by 2026 – a paltry 5 percent.6.
  • In contrast, at a time when the shelter census was only a fraction of what it is today, Mayor Koch dedicated more than 10 percent of his overall housing plan to homeless adults and families, contributing to significant decreases in homelessness between the late 1980s and 1990s."
  • It is my opinion the mayor's plan adds to the homeless situation. The rents are well beyond what current tenants can afford, it forces those people to leave the community, Mom & Pop stores are being forced out too because landlords have nothing to prevent them from raising rents to incredible levels.
This is the current situation during a time when the economy is doing well. You ask where? That's for another time, but what can we expect when the shit hits the financial fan? All financial reports say that another crisis is looming within the next year. We all need to consider the effects for our families, our neighbors, our community.

More BS from H.U.D.

We just got a copy of the "The 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress" and I have to tell you that the first paragraph I read set me off:
"On a single night in 2018, roughly 553,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States. About two-thirds (65%) were staying in sheltered locations—emergency shelters or transitional housing programs—and about one-third (35%) were in unsheltered locations such as on the street, in abandoned buildings, or in other places not suitable for human habitation." There was a 0.3 percent increase between 2017 and 2018.

And then I jumped to the Goals that they are planning: "While the number of people experiencing homelessness increased modestly, by less than one percent between 2017 and 2018, homelessness has declined by more than 84,000 people since 2010, a 13 percent reduction. Recent increases in national homelessness were driven by increases in individuals staying in unsheltered locations." Eight fucking years and H.U.D. gets excited because 13% of the people were no longer homeless. How many of them died? It doesn't say.

As of January of 2018, there were 553,000 homeless people in the richest country the world has ever seen. How is that possible?

And let's not talk about Democrats or Republicans, they are both guilty. Guilty of not caring.

If the government did care we would not have a Defense Budget of $7 billion dollars. We spend $7 billion dollars to kill innocent people in foreign countries while leaving 553,000 Americans on the street. Is all that oil really worth it?

Here in NewYork State, there are more than 92,000 homeless, mostly in NYC. So the Federal Government spends money on Defense and NYC hands over $3 billion to the richest man in the world, so he can make more money.

What is wrong with us as a people?

To see what is happening in Paris is very upsetting for anyone that has ever been there. But it has been the history of Paris to struggle for its equality and freedoms. We Americans should be very conscious of the problems in Paris because they exist here as well as I've stated above. And what is happening there can and will ignite here in a moments notice. Let us not forget, the thousands of homeless people in New York City, with more than 23,000 children leaving shelters every morning to go to school. Think of your own children having to experience that nightmare.

The increases in rents are forcing parents to work two and three jobs just to keep what they have. And still, our government officials go out of their way to assist real estate developers in creating massive towers which change the character of neighborhoods and force greedy landlords to harass tenants or deny Mom & Pop stores new leases.

While mass media spins with news about Trump, it overlooks what is really affecting the people and that is capitalism and their local government. Get off your ass and do something about our way of life in the United States.

Here is a link to the H.U.D. Report:

Homeless Situation in Sunset Park

Sunset ParkSunset Park, Brooklyn

This is a reply to an open letter Councilman Carlos Menchaca sent to us, his constituents, regarding the homelessness that exists in Sunset Park.

Last month, residents and local leaders held a meeting at Community Board 7, ( to discuss the homelessness situation that is impacting the Sunset Park community. Six shelters and some hotels turned shelters have appeared over the past five years, causing considerable concern to the community. These shelters and hotels turned shelters suddenly appear in the neighborhood without warning from the Department of Homeless Services.

People in the area complain that there have been break in's and drug activity since these shelters have opened. Inspector Gonzales, who runs the 72 Precinct said that his data showed no relationship to the homeless to the uptick in recent crimes in the neighborhood.

Councilman Menchaca mentions in his letter that he has concerns about how City Hall is handling, or I would say mishandling this situation. I too am concerned and want to know, why are these people here? And why are they not getting help finding jobs, places to live, or mental healthcare?

Housing and the Homeless are critical issues for me as an activist, but I believe that people that become homeless belong in their community and should not be moved to some other part of the city. It was mentioned though, in the meeting at CB7, that there are people from all over, even some from Europe, which really struck me.

We must have compassion for the homeless; remember, this is New York City, and homelessness can happen to any of us. We think life is secure, but it is not.

This city's elected officials are forcing people into the streets by adding to the effects of gentrification and allowing mass housing projects to rise with rents well above what current residents can afford. Just last week, I saw a comment from Mayor de Blasio says it's all legal. Well, make laws that make it illegal, at least add restrictions.

While our Councilman offers concerns about homelessness, it is only the symptom, not the cause. Communities have rights to this city and should not be forced out of a place that some have spent their entire lives living in. It is morally wrong. The City Council and the State Assembly must pass protection laws to keep people in their community.

Currently, I am part of a group trying to prevent the building of four towers, one a 100 story building in the lower east side. City Planning, a group of people, not elected, but appointed are impacting the lives of thousands of people that will be forced out of Chinatown and the Lower east side. Everyone in this city must stand up to the Mayor and the Capitalist developers to stop what they are doing to our city. I am not against developing. I am against displacement. But it should be the community deciding what is happening to their neighborhood.

We are losing Mom & Pop stores because greedy landlords have the right to raise rents to unbelievable heights. The City Council MUST pass the Small Business Jobs Survival Act. And we as a City must force the Mayor to sign the bill he has already said he would not.

Link to Councilman's letter: Here is a link:

Help Save the Lower Eastside

image courtesy of the Municipal Art Society of New York

This is a reprint of an email I received this morning:


The plan for new skyscrapers in Two Bridges passed the City Planning Commission in a 10-3 vote on 12/5/18.

This is the latest example of how Mayor de Blasio and his agencies blatantly violate their own law* and ignore community opposition in the interest of big developers. From Amazon to pro-developer rezonings to jail proposals, we have seen again and again the Mayor’s intention to destroy the city that we love.

But momentum has been building and now is the time to fight back - it’s not too late!

Please join us for a Two Bridges TOWN HALL to learn how to fight against these towers!

Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side
When: Dec 12, Wednesday at 6 pm
Where: P.S. 2, 122 Henry St (at Pike St)

*Despite being approved by the City Planning Commission, these towers are ILLEGAL.

CPC Chair Marisa Lago said before her vote in favor of the application that legally the minor modification meets the conditions of the current zoning regulations.

But the proposed site for development is a 
Large Scale Residential Development (LSRD), governed by Zoning Resolution Article 7, Chapter 8. There is no need for a full ULURP since these towers violate the existing zoning. The Zoning Resolution governing the LSRD requires that any proposed development get a special permit from the City before construction begins. The development would be approved only if it will:

1. Not interfere with the character of the neighborhood
2. Not restrict light and air or privacy
3. Not Introduce detrimental building bulk
4. Not create traffic congestion
5. Serve a public need
6. Lead to better site planning

The proposed development does not meet any of these requirements!


For additional information
Lower East Side Organized Neighbors (LESON)
Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side, c/o NMASS 212-358-0295

Saving Their Community

click on pic to see video

Groups from the lower east side and Chinatown come out to serve ethics complaint to City Council member, Margaret Chin. All in an effort to save their neighborhood from the Two Trees Company's proposal to build super-tall buildings along the east river.


click on pic to see video

David Tieu, community leader, explains what is happening in the lower east side of Manhattan with proposals to erect 4 super tall buildings along the east river.

Crown Heights Townhall Meeting

Crown Heights Development Town Hall

Hello, this is the Daily Briefing and I'm your host Mike McCabe.

This radio station is dedicated to informing you about things in your neighborhood, especially, when it comes to housing. Last night I attended a town hall in Crown Heights, that focussed on 5 developments that are in various levels of completion. The town hall was hosted by Assemblyman Walter Mosley, and two no-shows, Congresswoman Evette Clarke and City Council Member Lori Combo.

The crowd had many questions for the assemblyman and was very knowledgeable about the process. Alica Boyd, a community activist, was there to inform the people of information the assemblyman omitted.

This is a very long meeting, but it confirms what every community is going thru today, primarily because of the tie of Mayor de Blasio with developers. It is difficult not to think that there is collusion between city officials and the Real Estate Board of New York.

Please listen to what occurred last night:

Sunset Park Facing the Homeless Issue

This is Mike McCabe and you are listening to the Daily Briefing. This past week, I went to a meeting at Community Board 7, in Sunset Park. The meeting was hosted by City Council Member, Carlos Menchaca, and the focus of the meeting was Homelessness. At least that was the title of the meeting. The meeting covered many other topics that the community felt were related to the shelters and hotels that house the homeless. And while I have my own thoughts about the event, I'd like you to listen to the meeting and decide how you think Sunset Park should manage the situation. So please, listen now to the meeting on homelessness.


You can download the audio file here to listen at your convenience: 

A Great Celebration

Have you ever considered how you might feel if you were ever evicted from your home?

Well, on January 18, of this year 27 Chinese immigrant families living at 85 Bowery, here in New York City where told by the Department of Buildings they had to leave immediately. And within 2 hours all of those families were suddenly homeless. Some of the residents were as old as 82, and others were school-age children left to live in a shelter.

Prior to the eviction, the tenants had won a court case against the landlord securing rent stabilization for their apartments. And then shortly after, the Department of Building made the decision that the building was not safe. A staircase needed repair, but to do that the residents had to leave.

The residents were promised that they would only be out of their apartments for two weeks. Unfortunately, the work order that was needed to begin repairs, was not applied for until 2 days before the promised return date. So now, the delays began. After weeks of delays to repair the staircase, it was then discovered that asbestos had been found in the building. Not surprising since most old buildings in New York City used asbestos to insulate its pipes.

Again there would be further delays in returning to their homes. In New York City, and I would think in most places, landlords use harassment and lack of repairs to get people out of the building, so new tenants would be charged a higher rent.
During the period mentioned above and after many demonstrations the tenants were moved from shelters to a hotel in Chinatown.

The frustration the tenants felt from the lack of assistance from the Housing Preservation Department led them to hold a hunger strike. It was now February, and as I said above, some of these tenants were in their 80s; but still strong and very determined. They sat outside the Housing Preservation Department, at 100 Gold Street in the coldest period of the winter. I myself caught the flu just being there with them in solidarity.

The media showed up from time-to-time and occasionally a politician looking for good press too. Aid was sort from the mayor's office but all the tenants got was lip service from the deBlasio administration.

Read more

Chinatown Will Sue If Planning Commission Approves Towers


The people of Chinatown usually stands up for their community, and the current situation with the proposal to erect 4 super tall buildings is not an exception. 104 speakers appeared at the hearing to oppose the building of those towers. The Department of Planning gave the developers a shortcut to approval by eliminating the ULURP process, which allows the community to participate in the decisions to build. This community will not allow that decision to stand.