Ja Rule was among hundreds protesters who stood outside City Hall to protest the poor living conditions in New York City public housing on Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 20).
Several people spoke out against the NYC Housing Authority’s slow process with handling complaints from tenants. Some people complained having no heat or hot water during the harsh winter months. Others accused the NYC Housing Authority allowing landlords to get away with unlawful practices that would otherwise draw large fines if it happened in private housing facilities.
Ja Rule, who grew up in the city's public housing, was in attendance to bring attention to the ongoing problems with public housing.
"I'm here to bring light to the situation," he said. "It's been going on for a long time and it's time for we, the people, to stand up, and let our voices be heard."
"City Hall, New York City, the Mayor, the Governor they should all be ashamed themselves," he continued. "These are Americans, New Yorkers who are living in third world conditions and it should not be this way."
According to the New York Times, heating or hot water outages affected 143,000 apartments between Oct. 1, 2017 and Jan. 22, 2018, with the average heat outage lasting 48 hours. All and all, over 80 percent the Housing Authority’s residents were without heat at some point during the winter.
“Let’s come out and let’s fight this cause first. Let’s shut this city down," said Ja Rule ( CBS New York). "We ain’t paying no more rent until this situation is dealt with. No heat, no hot water? No money, no rent."
“I think the next step is for NYCHA to give us answers. We want to know: Where does this go from here?” he added. “I think the next step is we want answers. We’ll go to the mayor, we’ll go to the governor…we’ll go as far as we need it to.”
You can watch the full press conference/protest above.
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