November 18, 1999

Housing Group Holds Rally Before Meeting

By Mary Jo Murphy
Speak United
Residents of Manhattan's public housing have recently attended two City
Commission Meetings detailing harassment, intimidation, unfair lease
violations and unresponsiveness to repairs and complaints during the
commission's discussion of separating the Manhattan Housing Authority from
control of city government.
City Manager, Gary Greer and City Commissioner, Ed Klimek publicly
apologized to residents for the poor management of housing at the November
2 City Commission Meeting, admitting that the city had not provided enough
over-site to housing.
The City Commission promised to do the right thing for residents.  They
discussed a careful decision in implementing the separation, supporting the
residents request for  better and broader resident representation with two
resident representatives elected by residents of public housing and
continued over-site by the city with appointment of a City Commissioner to
the new housing board of commissioners.
Residents recently learned that the current housing advisory board would be
appointed to the new housing board of commissioners at Tuesday nights 7
p.m. legislative session of the City Commission.  The appointments did not
contain elected resident representation or city over-site with appointment
of a City Commissioner.
Residents of public housing  expressed their outrage of the City
Commission's broken promise by rallying before the City Commission meeting,
in front of City Hall, 11th and Poyntz, Manhattan.  The event culminated at
7 p.m. when residents attended the City Commission Meeting delivering

After the demonstration and remarks the Commission added one Commissioner
and two residents to the new commission.