Asian Tenants Union calls for fully funded NYCHA
by Benjamin Fang
Dec 26, 2019 | 2994 views | 0 0 comments | 88 88 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Asian immigrants living in public housing developments in western Queens have a message for Governor Andrew Cuomo: fully fund NYCHA now.

Last Tuesday, dozens of Chinese, Bangladeshi and Korean residents of Queensbridge Houses, Woodside Houses and Ravenswood Houses gathered at the Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement to launch CAAAV’s Asian Tenants Union.

The tenants discussed issues like deteriorating elevators, leaks in their apartments and no heat on some 20-degree nights.

Some members said they only had one functioning electrical outlet in their apartment. Others said they cooked without gas.

Another problem was a lack of language access and translation services. ATU members said they were penalized for not responding to documents in English they could not read.

Hazra Rahman, a Bangladeshi leader in the union at Queensbridge Houses, said they’re demanding a “basic human right,” which is language justice.

“For me, this is a powerful campaign because I don’t speak English too well,” she said, “and definitely not enough to have a conversation at the management office to give me the repairs that I need.

“Our demand is funding for people at the management office who speak our languages, translated documents and more people on the customer call center,” Rahman added.

A Chinese ATU member leader who goes by Ms. Deng said tenants cannot continue to endure unfair treatment.

She said in January, the union will travel to Albany to deliver their demand to Cuomo to fully fund NYCHA.

“We need funding for public housing,” Deng said. “We need language justice and timely repairs with the promise that our homes will not deteriorate as they have in
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