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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Alicka Ampry-Samuel, the New York/New Jersey regional administrator for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, is in charge of a $6 billion budget for subsidized housing and community development in both states.

Ampry-Samuel said one of her main priorities as the top federal housing official in the region is to create more affordable housing, especially for the most vulnerable residents.  

Ampry-Samuel invited PIX11 News for an exclusive look at what she said is a solution to a housing problem that she considers a national emergency. It’s a new building currently under construction on Grand Street on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. It’s funded by a partnership between the city, state and a nonprofit called the Grand Street Guild. It has 232 affordable housing units that will be available via lottery next year.

Ampry-Samuel said one of the biggest problems right now is a rise in older New Yorkers who are becoming homeless. Many are low-income, Black or Hispanic, according to Ampry-Samuel.

Ampry-Samuel is looking to increase home ownership, especially in Black and brown communities. She is continuing to work with the Biden administration to make sure funding is secured.  

In addition to creating more affordable housing, Ampry-Samuel wants to create more affordable services as well.

The housing fight is deeply personal for Ampry-Samuel, who was born and raised in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Her family lived in NYCHA for decades.