Surveillance cameras are set to be installed at the Sheepshead – Nostrand Housing Projects in August, according to Councilman Michael Nelson, who nearly quadrupled the funding for this project last month.
Residents, though, should be skeptical of any proposed date.
Since 2004, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has been holding $42 million of funds allocated by Council members to install security cameras in New York City’s violence-plagued housing projects, yet not a single camera has been installed in eight years.
After the Daily News made that revelation in an expose on Friday, NYCHA proclaimed that it will begin to install cameras around 80 New York City housing projects, including the Sheepshead – Nostrand Houses. According to the Daily News, the camera installation in the 80 facilities is scheduled to begin at the start of the fall. However, officials told the Daily News that the cameras will not be running until the end of next year.
If the local project fails to kick off in August as Nelson said, it would not be the first time NYCHA has pushed back the start date. Like many of the housing projects identified by the Daily News, the Sheepshead – Nostrand Houses has been slated for $525,000 in surveillance improvements allocated by Nelson since 2009, but no improvements were made.
Prior to the August installation date, NYCHA said work would begin on the project in the first quarter of 2012, a promise it failed to keep.
The Sheepshead – Nostrand Houses has had its share of shootings and murders. In May 2011, a young mother and her boyfriend were killed in a shooting. A few months later, a 27-year-old man was found dead at the houses, after he was shot almost 30 times. For years, there has been a need for increased security at the Sheepshead- Nostrand Houses, yet no practical steps have been taken.
Meanwhile, Nelson recently allocated an additional $1.36 million for the project, providing enough funding for NYCHA to deploy cameras in stairwells, elevators and hallways of all 18 buildings in the Sheepshead – Nostrand Houses, helping to protect the homes of 2,703 residents.
“Everyone deserves an equal opportunity when it comes to quality of life, and being able to live in a crime-free neighborhood,” Nelson said. “While cameras cannot prevent every crime, they are the best deterrent available and if there is a crime, with cameras at the scene, there’s a much better chance of apprehending the felon before he or she can do it again to someone else.”