NEW YORK (PIX11) — PIX11 News met Mia Henderson Monday during a chance encounter at the Lillian Wald Houses in Manhattan’s East Village.
Inside the nearby community center, Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul made a public housing announcement that was tailor-made to Henderson’s situation.
“For countless New Yorkers who live in public housing, they still live in uncertainty. The rent payments start piling up,” said Hochul.
Henderson brought PIX11 News up to her apartment, where she showed her NYCHA past due monthly rent statement. It’s the reason for her financial panic.
“I haven’t worked for three years, since the pandemic hit. And it’s been very hard for me,” said Henderson.
Henderson’s back rent is currently $10,002.21.
“That’s a million dollars to me. I’ve never had that much money in my life. I’ve never,” said Henderson.
Hochul revealed out of the nearly $400 million budget allocation earmarked specifically for NYCHA tenants, the state has already spent $95 million to assist around 15,000 families.
“We’re going to give you rental assistance to the New Yorkers who need it the most,” said Hochul.
Mayor Adams added, “We are looking at major financial challenges. But we know what we are doing today — this is not spending. This is investing.”
Tenant advocate Elizabeth Saunders said she’s seen several fellow tenants lose their apartments.
“How do you put families with children on the street? This money is definitely going to come through for them,” said Saunders.
For Henderson, with $10,000 in back rent and the threat of eviction looming, it’s a dose of good news that didn’t exactly come when she wanted, but it’s still right on time.
“I am ecstatic that this program is here because we are losing our places. God is on my side,” said Henderson.
You can access the program on the state’s website. Additionally, advocates doing work on the ground say the fastest way to get help is to talk to your tenant liaison and contact your local State Assembly member or state senator.