BREAKING: Residents of Hoboken’s public housing projects plan protest outside board members’ condo building
Jun 27, 2013 | 9907 views | 5 5 comments | 165 165 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN – Hoboken Housing Authority residents, tired of what they claim is a political hijacking of the board tasked with maintaining their quality of life, planned to protest outside the luxury condo building of two of the board’s commissioners on Thursday evening at 5:30.

According to a press release from a Housing Authority spokeswoman, residents will protest outside the Sky Club, an upscale high-rise apartment complex just blocks from the epicenter of the city’s public housing and home to HHA Board commissioners David Mello and Greg Lincoln.

The HHA Board of Commissioners is a seven-member unpaid board that helps oversee Hoboken's public housing projects. The projects are also run by a paid executive director (Carmelo Garcia), and are overseen on a larger scale by the federal department of Housing and Urban Development.

The HHA board is presently split into two political factions: One that is allied with Mayor Dawn Zimmer and opposed to Garcia, and one that is allied with Garcia.

Lincoln and Mello, the latter of whom also serves as an at-large city councilman, are allied with Zimmer against Garcia.

Much of the controversy surrounds the proposed Vision 20/20 project, which would demolish and rebuild all of the buildings on the housing authority’s main campus, located from Second Street to Sixth Street between Jackson Street and the Palisades Cliffs. Housing Authority residents, the authority’s executive director, Garcia, and some of the board’s other commissioners have expressed support for the plan. But Zimmer's allies have said there is not enough information available about the plan.

Garcia recently asked the City Council to issue a letter in support of the plan, which he could use to get Hurricane Sandy funding that was suddenly made available. But the Zimmer-allied council members have advocated for a full vetting of the project before showing any kind of support for public funding.

Housing Authority residents have held protests regarding this issue before, notably at City Council meetings and outside City Hall. In May, they expressed outrage when the council failed to pass a resolution of need in support of the project’s first phase, a 44-unit building that would be constructed on the site of a parking lot on the corner of Harrison and Fourth Streets.

According to the press release, the protest is set to begin at 5 p.m. outside Sky Club, which is located at 700 First St.

Garcia noted later that the protest is being conducted by the residents, not the HHA. He noted that they have their own tenant advisory board.

Last week, the Reporter did a comprehensive cover story on the Vision 20/20 project and surrounding controversy. Read it here..

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July 01, 2013
It is impossible to separate or believe that the HHA Resident Advisory Board and HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia are not both part of one entity.

It is clear that even those who say they are behind the protests, like the rest of us have not even seen Garcia's plan for the HHA.

It would be a good idea that before making any more noise that they demand that Director Garcia show them the plan. That way they will not look quite so foolish.
June 27, 2013
If you disagree with this action please file a complaint in person with Director Carmelo Garcia care of 711 Bloomfield St Hoboken, NJ 07030.
June 29, 2013
The organized protest which the Resident Advisory Board scheduled had nothing to do with the director at all. The residents organized this protest, which was a peaceful protest. As United States citizens we have our right to protest and voice our concerns. Filing a complaint with Mr. Garcia will not prevent us from fighting for what we need.