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Seniors Get Angry About Broken Promises for Affordable Housing in NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio walked back a promise of $500 million in affordable senior housing. New York’s rapidly growing elderly population came out to protest.
Protesters at Gracie Mansion, the New York City mayoral residence, demand the mayor fulfill his promise to build $500 million of affordable housing for seniors. June 13, 2019.
Protesters at Gracie Mansion, the New York City mayoral residence, demand the mayor fulfill his promise to build $500 million of affordable housing for seniors. June 13, 2019.Molly Keisman/CityLab

David K. Brawley, pastor of St. Paul Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn, did not mince words when he stepped up to the podium in front of 1,400 protestors on Wednesday. “The indictment has been given” he shouted. “It is now time to tell you what the charge is against this man … The charge is betrayal.” The crowd erupted into cheers. “Bill de Blasio,” Brawley continued, “you have betrayed the seniors of New York City. You ran on a platform to close the gap between the tale of two cities, and since you have been mayor it has only gotten exponentially worse. You have betrayed black and brown people, you have betrayed the working poor, you have betrayed our people.”

The protest took place outside of the mayoral residence, Gracie Mansion. In furious testimony, religious leaders and struggling New Yorkers demanded that Mayor Bill de Blasio fulfill the promise he made a year ago to donate half a billion dollars to affordable senior housing.