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October 14, 2008

Congresswoman Velázquez Recognized for Work to Preserve Affordable Housing

Washington, DC – The Hispanic Society of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) honored Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) on Friday evening at their Annual Scholarship Dinner Dance.  The Congresswoman was recognized for her ongoing efforts to support affordable housing options for hard-working New Yorkers and preserve the City’s valuable public housing properties.  With Hispanic residents making up more than 40 percent of NYCHA’s population, the Congresswoman’s efforts have focused on improving the livelihood of these New Yorkers.

“Preserving affordable housing and providing opportunities to Latino families is a fight about priorities.  In Congress, I have worked to protect and bolster our scarce housing resources.  Only through a collaborated effort can we raise urban housing needs to the top of the national agenda,” she said.

As New York City’s senior Member on the U.S. House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, Congresswoman Velázquez has been a strong advocate of expanding opportunities for the City’s public housing residents and workers.  She has introduced legislation to increase NYCHA’s funding, which slowed to a trickle under the Bush Administration.  The Congresswoman also worked to develop a program to train public housing residents in the home healthcare trade and match them with seniors in need of help.  Most recently, she ensured that the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, signed into law last week, included a number of crucial provisions designed to prevent the loss of subsidized rental units and preserve tenant protections.

“Congresswoman Velázquez has been a great friend to public housing and a leader in the Latino community.  She has broken many barriers and inspires Latinos to reach for great heights. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we salute these contributions,” said Johnny Figueroa, President of the Hispanic Society of NYCHA. 

The Hispanic Society of NYCHA was founded in 1969.  The membership is made up of Hispanic members of the Housing Authority workers, with 125 active members.  The organization was founded for the purpose of providing social and educational benefits to the membership and fostering the spirit, language and culture of Hispanic heritage.  Today, the organization continues promoting the general welfare of its members.  One of the ways that the Society supports its membership is by holding an annual scholarship dinner dance for the benefit of the children and grandchildren of the membership.  In addition to presenting an annual scholarship, the Society also contributes to charitable, fraternal and educational causes of other Housing Authority organizations.  The Society is under the umbrella of the Grand Council of Hispanic Societies in Public Service.