Cynthia Nixon says public housing conditions ‘devastating’

Cynthia Nixon
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — “Sex and the City” star and governor’s race candidate Cynthia Nixon visited a housing complex on Wednesday and said the conditions she saw were “devastating,” in some cases resulting in death.

Some residents hold umbrellas while using toilets under leaky ceilings. Moldy, insect-infested apartments need asthma machines. Holes in walls used by rodents don’t get fixed for years, and broken boilers leave residents without heat or hot water.

At Brooklyn’s Albany Houses, with thousands of apartments in the Crown Heights neighborhood, “it’s not just a matter of how broken and crumbling everything is, it’s literally about how it’s killing the residents here,” said Nixon, a Democrat challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo in their party’s Sept. 13 primary.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former Democratic state senator, accompanied Nixon on a tour of a building where a worker hurried to install on the front entrance a lock that had been omitted when a new door was put in several years ago. Other workers rushed to collect garbage that residents said was strewn across lawns until word spread that a prominent visitor was expected.

Cuomo, elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, is fighting for $550 million in funding for the state-run New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA. He says he won’t sign the state budget unless it includes “real and immediate remedies” for public housing tenants.

That includes roof and pipe leaks that cause mold-triggered asthma. Several years ago, one woman’s daughter complained about not feeling well, went to lie down and then was found dead from an asthma attack.

Nixon, who played Miranda Hobbes in the “Sex and the City” TV show and movies, said she doesn’t know how Cuomo can have toured NYCHA housing three times in the last week and a half “and have seen what we’ve seen and not be putting a billion dollars into the budget” to fix the kind of dilapidated housing she saw.

“It is definitely a state of emergency,” Nixon said.

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