FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2009
Statement by Council Member Letitia James on Appointment of Banker John Rhea to Chair the New York Housing Authority
(Brooklyn, NY) – “The appointment of John Rhea as Chair of the New York City Housing Authority causes me and my constituents great concern.
I applaud the Bloomberg Administration for attempting to address the lack of diversity in their administration. But, the appointment of an African-American man, who has no experience in managing a low-income public housing authority of this size and scale, and whose experience may be limited to private equity financing is troubling, and should not serve as a substitute or a panacea for the lack of diversity at City Hall.
This appointment further raises questions, particularly at a time when private equity firms are purchasing under-performing housing developments, and converting them to luxury housing throughout the City. These purchases are displacing low and moderate income families, which continues to disproportionately affect persons of color.
I do look forward to meeting Mr. Rhea, and I cautiously await our first exchange.”
Contact: Council Member Letitia James (718) 260-9191