Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

When it was announced a few weeks ago that the cash-strapped New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) was mulling over the idea to place billboards — possibly for booze and fast food — on the sides of its buildings, residents of the Sheepshead – Nostrand Houses, on Nostrand Avenue between Avenue V and Avenue X, came out against the idea, claiming “it would make many rundown buildings look even worse.”

The Housing Authority quietly circulated notice last week that it’s looking to hire a consultant to advise them on selling advertising space in developments that more than 400,000 people call home.

The unprecedented proposal sparked fears among residents that building lobbies, facades, courtyard benches or trash bins could be plastered with ads touting unhealthy products.

However, “Instead of placing billboards,” one resident told News 12, “we need more cameras for our safety.”

Indeed.

And what of those cameras, anyway, for the crime-infested housing projects that have seen murders in recent months and years spike along with an overall increase of violent crime plaguing Sheepshead Bay?

According to the Daily News:

Residents of the crime-plagued Sheepshead Bay Houses are still waiting for security cameras promised two years ago — even though $525,000 was budgeted for the project.

City Councilman Michael Nelson (D-Sheepshead Bay), who allocated the funds in 2009, charged the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) hasn’t moved ahead with the surveillance system — despite the constant shootings and drug-dealing that pervade the 18-building complex.

“It’s upsetting and frustrating. I’m so disappointed in them,” said Nelson. “Security cameras act as a deterrent and it helps catch perpetrators. I don’t know what the heck is going on here.”

… The violence prompted Nelson to press NYCHA for a start date for the cameras. Instead, NYCHA officials last month said they wanted to put in a new intercom system instead.

…“NYCHA doesn’t have the funding to install these systems at all developments but will install where elected officials have allocated discretionary funding,” she said in a statement.

It would be a “electronic key tags; intercoms that do not rely on telephone company wiring systems,” Stainback added. “NYCHA has identified the need to secure building entrances as a priority that is essential to improving the security of its developments.”

So instead of a camera system that could help authorities catch shooters and drug dealers, NYCHA is giving victims the tools to hobble over to an intercom after being shot, and politely ask for help from some faceless operator as they bleed out. This might have been useful back in 1989, but given the prevalence of cell phone use these days – especially among lower-income Americans who are also more sophisticated users – it seems like NYCHA is responding with antiquated technology for a crowd that doesn’t care for it.

Would it hurt so much to give the housing projects what they really need – and what they asked for?

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  • Anonymous

    Yea! add damn Camera’s!!!!!!!!

    • nolastname

      With sound. If they do not catch someone in the act they will hear them bragging about it. 
      A person can hear all sorts of things by the 2 convenience stores and McD’s.

  • SUPERHERO

    should of stayed in school!

    • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

      “Should have”

  • nolastname

    All housing projects ‘should have’ cameras. 

    • Anonymous

      you forgot barbed wire fence and machine gun towers with search lights.

      • Barkingspider7

        sounds like a good plan to me!!

  • Kon

    They can make a reality show. 

  • Anonymous

    Wonder if this has anything to do with this: http://nyti.ms/ro7QWL – 
    City Official Accused of Taking Bribes, Left in Boxes and Cups
    By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUMPublished: October 6, 2011

  • Pizdagriz

    Don’t like projects? Move the F..K out!! Yes, get off drugs, get your GED, Find a JOB and move out…and please stop spreading!! If you can’t afford your own housing- don’t get pregnant and don’t blame society for your own stupidity and ignorance!
    This wonderful country has enough resources and help for people who are actually willing to work for it!!!
    Who wants to hear opinions of elderly immigrants who suck all the money out of medicate and medicare and lazy drug dealers and “ball players” who get their unemployment checks weekly- city is allowed to do we it wants to do..and if city wants to put billboards- let it be…
    Losers are not entitled for the opinion- if they don’t like something about it…they can get a job and MOVE OUT!!

    • Anonymous

      Pizdagriz, how’s pizdagrizing is going?  you dont want to give up pizda grizing and they dont want to give up drugs.  It’s addicting.

      GED? what is GED? Older people from projects are some what ok.. but young population.. never seen a white man before, they come out of their lair and they are stunned.. wow there is a world outside my world? They are high, stupid, act like animals in unpredictable manner and that is why they are dangerous. It’s like they come in to our world but they still live by their rules.. they dont realize that rules changed when they crossed that invisible line.

      On the other point.. every 18 year old and up has benefit card in there.. .. 
      Even in the fucking zoo when zookeepers release an animal in to the wild there is a chance of that animal dying of inability to find/hunt food because they got used to being fed in the zoo. Same thing here.. why go out and look for the job when government gives you money? And if you want something you can not afford all you got to do is to get a gun and go take it from the outside world.

      Cameras MUST be installed. Even real estate suffers around these projects, no one wants to buy a house even 2 blocks away from that shithole.

    • Anonymous Female

      Clearly, you have no knowledge of the people who live in these residents. I, for one am an able bodied 23 year old woman. I have my high school diploma and will be attending college soon after a hiatus. I was born into this NYCHA lifestyle. Born into poverty. A mother who, after a very hard life, tried to raise three girls the best she could in NYCHA.

      I had little to no choice growing up in NYCHA. Where can I live outside of NYCHA with my minimum wage job? You can say, “Go for a job that pays more money.”

      Fine, but as a college student, what are we supposed to do?

      I for one, am NOT on drugs, I am not a felon and have a clean record. I am working hard to get my life in a better position than my parents, yet I get called trash because I live in NYCHA because I have no where else to live. If it were not for NYCHA, I would be homeless.

      Think about that before you judge MOST of us.

      • ES

        I applaud you and your aspirations to live a better life, particularly in light of a challenging upbringing. Clearly, were there more NYCHA residents who embodied your determination to lead lives that aren’t entangled in the crosshairs of violence and drugs, then there wouldn’t be so many widespread misconceptions about the people who live in the projects. And maybe there are, but that is not what is seen — both by passersby along Nostrand, and in the news. What about those who lend so much fuel to these misconceptions? The depraved souls who send bullets flying throughout NYCHA projects all over the city, who subsist on welfare, and who embrace and perpetuate gang, gun and the (in my opinion, horrible) “my baby daddy” culture? Is there a real or just a perceived problem? Is it as bad as those who don’t live in NYCHA projects think it is, because of the media? What do you think can be done to fix things?

  • Pizdagriz

    Don’t like projects? Move the F..K out!! Yes, get off drugs, get your GED, Find a JOB and move out…and please stop spreading!! If you can’t afford your own housing- don’t get pregnant and don’t blame society for your own stupidity and ignorance!
    This wonderful country has enough resources and help for people who are actually willing to work for it!!!
    Who wants to hear opinions of elderly immigrants who suck all the money out of medicate and medicare and lazy drug dealers and “ball players” who get their unemployment checks weekly- city is allowed to do we it wants to do..and if city wants to put billboards- let it be…
    Losers are not entitled for the opinion- if they don’t like something about it…they can get a job and MOVE OUT!!

  • Cabbie

    Back in the 70′s I was the delivery boy for Kings Bay Pharmacy on Nostrand & V. I would leave my bike UN-LOCKED in the lobby of the Sheepshead/Nostrand projects while I made my deliveries, and no one EVER touched my bike.

    I wonder what would happen today?

    • Anonymous

      consider your bike Jacked!

    • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

      When I was in Shellbank and still rode bicycles I made the mistake if riding through the projects. Both times I was stupid enough to go through instead of around I got chased by natives trying to beat me up and take my bike. This was 15 years ago now?

  • WG

    “New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) was mulling over the idea to place billboards — possibly for booze and fast food —”

    Huh? They specifically said they will not place those kinds of ads. Lousy writing

  • Anonymous

    So, the Housing Authority needs to hire a cosultant to advise them on selling advertising space. How much would that cost? With all the property they run, one would think that they would be more sophisticated than that. Another reason for them to forget all about it.

    • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

      They probably already have someone in mind, who will be making something in the low six figures (most likely), but the City policy requires them to put an ad out advertising the position for a month or two, before hiring the candidate.

  • Goodsfromny

    This is a great example of Socialism would be for this country. Lets socialize everything and let government manage it.

  • http://twitter.com/nicktherat Nick the Rat

    yes! more cameras! id love to see more MDK on film. adding cameras wont fix anything. fixing the school system and creating jobs might help out the hood. good luck!

  • guest

    forget cameras let them bring back housing police that;ll be what is needed around there

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  • Anonymous Female

    Here’s the real problem: NYCHA needs to kick people who are convicted of selling drugs or arrested for doing or being caught with drugs. If you commit a felony, automatically out. This is coming from someone who lives in NYCHA. I’m in my early 20s, my family has lived in NYCHA due to lack of options. My goal is to ultimately attend college and leave NYCHA for good. It’s really disgusting, the things you see. Growing up, and even today, people will piss (among other things) in the elevators. Drugs are sold on certain floors. The staircases are SUPER dangerous but during the summer last year, I (a woman) had to walk up and down the stairs to my high floor after my night job because the elevators conked out for months and NYCHA tried to fix it but…residents kept breaking it.

    Honestly, I’m super fed up with living in NYCHA. It’s truly disgusting. I can’t believe the managers and heads of NYCHA allow these drug dealers to sell in front and in the buildings. Last year I saw a young boy get shot in front of my apartment building. Downstairs his body lay on the ground. I was truly traumatized from that. I just can’t wait until I can leave this heck hole.

    • Bichoman

      NYCHA does not care about the miserable conditions in Sheepshead-Nostrand. All NYCHA cares about is getting the rent money. If you don’t pay your rent, you will then be evicted. Murders and drug dealing are perfectly legal in the Sheepshead-Nostrand projects.