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Security guards may be cut from NYC senior housing — but some pols worry NYPD stepping in is ‘over-policing’

Security guards may be cut from NYC senior housing -- but some pols worry NYPD stepping in is 'over-policing'

Security guards patrolling the Big Apple’s public housing for seniors could get axed due to budget cuts – and some politicians worried replacing them with cops could send the wrong message.

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is considering firing the unarmed guards at 34 of the authority’s 55 senior housing facilities as the authority contends with a $35.3 million budget shortfall in its 2024 budget, officials said at a budget hearing on Tuesday.

But some City Council members railed that it would be a bad move to try to replace the guards with uniformed NYPD cops and security cameras used, with politician claiming “over-policing” in predominantly black neighborhoods.

Bronx Councilmember Diana Aylala said she was worried about “over-policing” of kids who might be hanging out in the building.

“I want to remind you of the dangers of over-policing black and brown communities, and the history behind that,” Bronx Council member Diana Aylala said at the hearing. “So I would hope that our public housing infrastructure is not complicit in those calls.”

The guards who cost $6.8 million could get canned as soon as July 1 unless city officials pony up supplemental funds, NYCHA officials testified.

NYCHA Chief Operating Officer Eva Trimble said the agency had to make “difficult choices” to deal with the budget shortfall driven by rent arrears from NYCHA’s more than 500,000 tenants.

“We’ve notified each of the relevant precincts,” Trimble said. “We’re working closely with them to make sure there’s additional patrols.”

“They’d do it as part of their policing of the city,” NYCHA’s Chief Financial Officer Annika Lescott-Martinez testified when asked about the cost of the additional patrols.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office did not confirm the increased NYPD patrols, but said that NYCHA already works with NYPD on safety issues.

A security guard helps an elderly woman through the door at a NYCHA facility in Brooklyn. Stephen Yang

But City Council member Chris Banks said the alternatives weren’t enough.

“I totally disagree with shifting everything to NYPD,” said Chris Banks, who chairs the Committee on Public Housing.

“We’ve seen the issues with response times, and we know that a senior walking into a building and a security guard standing at the door in that area could be a deterrent.”

The security guards are on the chopping block because the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the federal agency where NYCHA gets much of its funding does not require security guards, NYCHA CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt said.

“Right now we are laser focused on providing heat hot water, elevators. — everything that’s required of us by the HUD agreement. Security is not one of them,” Bova-Hiatt said.

“This is a slap in the face to folks who have paved the way for us,” Banks said. “Six million dollars shouldn’t be but a forlorn thought to make sure that our seniors are protected and that layer of security is there.”

NYCHA officials testified the guards would be replaced with security cameras and extra patrols by NYPD. Paul Martinka

The budget hearing comes as Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council work to finalize the city’s budget by June 30.

The council is calling on the Adam’s administration to add $584 million to NYCHA’s supplemental budget to improve NYCHA apartments and turn them over faster ultimately lowering the authority’s vacancy rate.

Adams’ 2025 fiscal year budget allocates nearly $275 million of supplemental funding for NYCHA, a $9.7 million increase from the previous fiscal year.

City council is calling on the Adam’s administration to add more than half a billion dollars to supplement NYCHA’s budget. Andrew Schwartz /

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said NHYCHA should get the money for the security guards from the state or federal government.

“NYCHA’s removal of unarmed security guards from senior buildings is a result of shortfalls in federal and state funding and unpaid rent, and is not in any way connected to city funding,” the spokesperson told The Post. “The City Council can help alleviate the need for NYCHA’s cost-saving measures by joining the Adams administration in calling for additional funding from the state and federal government.”

The NYPD did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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