Ja Rule joins NYCHA tenants’ protest against heating problems

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

The rapper Ja Rule joined NYCHA tenants at City Hall Tuesday to demand a fix to heating problems in city-owned housing units.

"City Hall, New York City, the mayor, the governor -- they should all be ashamed of themselves," the rapper said. "These are Americans, New Yorkers, living in Third-World conditions, and it should not be this way."

Officials say more than 300,000 residents went without heat this winter.

Monique Johnson, president of the Throgs Neck Resident Council, says it's time for NYCHA to address its persistent problems.

"We're tired of no heat, no hot water," she said. "We're tired of living in apartments with mold. We're tired of having our children in these contaminated apartments. We're tired of the disrespect."

In response to the rally, NYCHA said it appreciated any actions that would bring attention to its funding issues.

"We hope today's rally will highlight the catastrophic cuts proposed by the Trump administration and the need to support public housing as a vital resource," a spokesperson said.

Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $200 million investment to fix and upgrade heating systems in 20 NYCHA developments. Critics say that covers about 10 percent of the problem.

And in another statement, the governor's office criticized NYCHA's "severe mismanagement by the city" and touted $300 million in state funding to help alleviate some of the problems.

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