HARLEM (PIX11) – Five of the candidates for New York City mayor will be having a sleepover Saturday night. They will not be at a fancy Midtown hotel, but in one of Harlem’s housing projects.
The candidates will get to see first hand what it is like to live in a New York City Housing Authority building.
Katherine Wilson lives in the Lincoln Houses and she will host one of the mayoral candidates Saturday night. “They are giving them sleeping bags. So I am going to move this table and let them sleep here or they can sleep on the couch,” said Wilson.
Wilson has a leaky ceiling and black mold in her kitchen. The lobby of her building smells like urine.
Five Democratic candidates have accepted the invitation. Organizers said that Christine Quinn, John Liu, William Thompson, Bill de Blasio and Anthony Weiner will participate.
The candidates are expected to talk with residents at a town hall meeting, take a tour of the complex and then join their host families.
“They have to listen to the constituents and meet with them and talk to them and understand exactly what they need,” said the Urban Justice Center’s Afua Atta-Mensah.
The Urban Justice Center, Community Voices Heard and the National Action Network organized this sleepover.
But some residents expressed skepticism about Saturday night’s event.
“I say it is a stunt to me, but maybe they will make good,” said Lincoln Houses resident Thelma Thomas.
Several candidates for mayor declined the invitation. Organizers said that is a shame because hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers live in NYCHA buildings.