Mayor Bill de Blasio says an order to remove unused scaffolding at New York City Housing Authority properties is necessary because it poses a threat to the safety and security of residents, but critics are calling for another way to improve security. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
It's not uncommon to see scaffolding all over the city, but it seems to be a permanent fixture at many public housing complexes.
"It took five years to take the scaffolding down from my windows," said one public housing resident.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says that is far too long. He has ordered all but a handful of scaffolding to be removed from projects across the five boroughs as part of a plan to improve security.
The mayor called the scaffolding legacy "sheds," and said the construction platforms will be gone by the end of next year.
"Some of these sheds in some developments in the city were up for over a decade in a development. For over a decade," de Blasio said. "Even when no work was going on, they just sat there."
"Certainly, criminal activity that was occurring in these sheds was obstructed from the view of cameras, if there were cameras in the area, and from the view of residents as well as officers," said Carlos Gomes, chief of housing with the New York City Police Department.
The announcement was made at the Lincoln Houses, where de Blasio spent the night during his campaign for mayor at the invitation of the Rev. Al Sharpton, who was also on hand for Wednesday's announcement.
During the mayor's speech, he was heckled by a few residents who said the announcement was a photo op and called for more policing. Other residents quietly agreed.
"I don't feel like the scaffold is the thing," said one resident. "I mean, it's time for them to go down, but we need policing, we need security around here. It's bad," said one resident.
The mayor said removing the scaffolding is a step towards improving safety. His next move is to install 214 security cameras here by the end of next year.