Press Release

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626 new state-of-the-art, energy-efficient LED light fixtures illuminate Ravenswood Houses, enhancing safety for more than 4,380 residents

Exterior lighting key part of NextGeneration NYCHA – ten-year strategic plan to create safe clean, and connected public housing communities across New York City

NEW YORK––The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer today announced the completion of a $3.7 million safety-lighting installation project at Ravenswood Houses in Queens, which included an investment of $1 million from Majority Leader Van Bramer. NYCHA replaced the development’s outdated exterior lighting system with state-of-the-art, energy-efficient lighting located at entrances, walkways and parking areas. The comprehensive installation of over 600 new LED lighting fixtures across Ravenswood Houses advances the goals of NextGeneration NYCHA, the Authority’s ten-year strategic plan to create safer, cleaner and more connected communities throughout public housing across New York City.

NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye said, “NYCHA is focused on creating safer, cleaner more connected communities across New York City – and this state-of-the-art exterior lighting will help brighten this development and move us towards those goals. Thanks to a strong partnership with Majority Leader Van Bramer, the Ravenswood community can rest assured that we are investing in their futures and the next generation of public housing.”

City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer said, “The safety of my constituents is of utmost importance. Ravenswood residents have complained for years that dim and broken lights were making the community unsafe. The investment in this upgrade is already paying off—residents feel better walking at night, and crimes have dropped considerably. I’m proud to have been able to contribute to this much-needed project.”

Ravenswood Houses has seen progress stemming major index crimes, with murders and shootings flat at zero year-to-date for the second year in a row, closely mirroring the zero murders year-to-date in PSA 9 –a 100 percent decline from last year– as well as the 25-percent decrease in shootings in PSA 9. Robbery, larceny, and auto theft are also down at Ravenswood Houses – 16.7 percent, 14.3 percent, and 66.7 percent respectively. NYCHA-wide, shootings are down over 17 percent, reflecting the broader decrease in shootings citywide.

Since 2014, the Housing Authority has aggressively expanded security measures, spending more than $64.6 million installing and upgrading CCTV safety cameras, bringing the total number of CCTV cameras citywide to more than 13,000. NYCHA has also greatly increased the number of Layered Access Control (LAC) doors.

Additionally, this year, in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ), NYCHA has completed similar permanent exterior lighting installations at four sites across New York City as part of the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP), including a $4.8 million permanent lighting installation at Polo Grounds Towers in Harlem, consisting of 341 new light fixtures; a $4.1 million permanent lighting installation at Bushwick Houses in Brooklyn, consisting of 305 new light fixtures; a $5.1 million permanent lighting installation at Boulevard Houses in Brooklyn, consisting of 504 new fixtures; and a $3.1 million permanent lighting installation at Stapleton Houses in Staten Island, consisting of 358 new fixtures. In 2016, NYCHA expects to complete comprehensive permanent lighting installations at another 5 sites, including Butler, St. Nicholas, Van Dyke, Castle Hill and Ingersoll Houses; and to begin installation at 1 more site – Queensbridge North and South – at an estimated cost of $13 million.

Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the City Council Committee on Public Housing, said, "Adequate lighting has the potential to curb violence and maintain safety in public housing, so this installation completion is a true win for the tenants of Ravenswood Houses in Queens.”

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said, “I commend NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer for their efforts in bringing new exterior lighting to the Ravenwoods Houses. Their initiative will go a long way in improving the quality of life for its residents. Since taking office more than twenty-five years ago my office has targeted hundreds of drug dealers in public housing developments throughout Queens and has put a significant dent in the drug trafficking and drug-based violence which has long troubled the residents of these developments. It is well known that criminals prefer to operate in the dark whenever possible. The completion of this lighting project will go a long way in deterring such criminal activity.”

State Senator Michael Gianaris said, “Providing the residents of the Ravenswood community with necessary improved safety measures and lighting fixtures advances our neighborhood’s quality of life and addresses the lack of bright lighting residents have been suffering from for far too long. This installation is a good step forward and reflects our commitment to keeping local residents safe."

Ravenswood Houses Tenant Association President Carol Wilkins said, “We love this new lighting. I am happy this project is completed. It is a long time coming. We worked hard getting this, with many hours walking the grounds pointing out all the dark spots and the hard-to-see spots. It’s good to know that you can walk past a person at night and actually see their face. We feel safer at night. It’s nice and bright.”