With more than 176,000 apartments under management, NYCHA is America’s largest public housing authority, and it needs a reported $25 billion in repairs, following decades of poor management and disinvestment. Many of its tenants live with mold and lead paint, and this winter, 80 percent of them reportedly endured heat and hot water outages.
— Mara Gay (@MaraGay) February 20, 2018
“City Hall, New York City, the major, the governor, they should all be ashamed of themselves,” Ja Rule told FOX 5’s Lisa Atkins at a panel earlier this month. “These are Americans, New Yorkers living in third world conditions and it should not be this way.”
“The government is the worst slumlord in the United States,” Bronx Councilmember Ritchie Torres added.
“I was raised in public housing, my mom worked two to three jobs to try and feed us,” the rapper said. “I’m really upset at the fact that we’re all here right now, talking about heat. It’s a human right to have heat in your building that you live in.”
While landlords could normally be fined daily for failing to provide heat and hot water to tenants, NYCHA has its own internal system for handling complaints.
Ja Rule suggested the public housing residents file a class action lawsuit against the city, state, and federal government.
“I’m getting sued right now for like $100 million for something that’s way less than what y’all are going through, trust me!” he said, referring to his role in the infamous Fyre Festival fiasco.
Ja Rule vowed to continue protesting and advocating for reform.
“We want to know: Where does this go from here?” he said. “I think the next step is we want answers. We’ll go to the mayor, we’ll go to the governor… we’ll go as far as we need it to.”