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Residents, Community Leaders Say Affordable Housing Is Ruining Bronx Neighborhood

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Protestors in the Bronx were fired up on Monday, saying an affordable housing building is ruining the neighborhood with noise and drugs.

As CBS2's Reena Roy reported, tenants claim it's just not true.

Local leaders and elected officials were getting their message out loud and clear on White Plains Road.

They claim a low-income apartment building that opened roughly a year ago has been causing major issues, especially since summer began.

"People standing out here cussing and fighting people out here using drugs, people running in stores trying to rip them off, that's what this building has brought," Bronx Councilman Andy King said.

Police confirmed there has been an increase in 911 and 311 calls in the area since 2016.

"This is not good for our community," one resident said.

Some people who live there said tenants are the root of the problem, they claim the issues in the neighborhood existed before the unit was built.

"We moved here with drugs here in this community. We are not bringing these problems that they claim we're bringing," a resident said.

"To say that we're the problem, no that's not fair. Because there are a lot of hard-working decent people here," Michelle Calloway said.

"As a person who's lived in the neighborhood before the building I can say it's more the people who live int he community," a neighbor added.

A Department of Homeless Services spokesperson said its data also proves that the issues are not inside the building.

The city placed more than 90 formerly homeless families in the building when it opened, giving them a chance to get back on their feet with rental assistance programs, social services, and on site outreach teams.

Councilman Andy King said the city and the private developer behind it called the 'The Stagg Group' were not upfront about that.

"I'm a little confused why no one ever informed us that this was going to be the scenario in this building," he said.

DHS said the community was fully informed before tenants moved in, a spokesperson added that changing the use of the building would displace many of those low-income tenants.


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