By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Housing advocates had a special Valentine’s Day gift for mayor Bill de Blasio but rather than rely on a florist to delivery it, they brought it to the mayor’s Park Slope home themselves.
Members of the tenants’ rights group Inquilinos Unidos went to the mayor’s 11th Street home in Park Slope on Friday afternoon bearing heart-shaped balloons and giant Valentine’s Day cards, including one with a poem they wrote for Hizzoner.
“Dear Mayor de Blasio, Roses are red, violets are blue, remember the tenants that voted for you!" the poem read.
“It was our little way of gently reminding the mayor that he campaigned on bringing in affordable housing and that we want him to keep his promise,” one of the participants told the Brooklyn Eagle. “We figured the message will go down sweeter if we put it in the form of a Valentine’s Day present.” the participant said
Representatives of the Fifth Avenue Committee and Neighbors Helping Neighbors also took part in the special delivery.
The group gathered on Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street on Feb. 14 at 4:30 pm and then walked together a few blocks to 11th street, where de Blasio lives with his family.
The advocates presented themselves to a police officer guarding the mayor’s house. The mayor was not at home at the time, but the cop accepted the cards and gifts and promised to give them to the mayor.
De Blasio mentioned his goal of building more affordable housing units in his State of the City Address on Feb. 10.
“We will lift the floor for New Yorkers crushed by skyrocketing rents by requiring developers to build affordable homes for everyday people rather than simply multi-million dollar condos for the most fortunate among us,” the mayor stated in his address, delivered at the LaGuardia Community College Performing Arts Center.
“Let me be clear. We want to work with the real estate industry to build. We MUST build more to achieve our vision. But the people's interests will be accounted for in every real estate deal made with the city. In total, we pledge to preserve or construct nearly 200,000 units of affordable housing - enough to house between 400,000 and 500,000 New Yorkers -- to help working people by literally putting a roof over their heads,” de Blasio stated.
To help achieve this goal, de Blasio said he had put together a “top-flight team of housing and planning experts” to create a plan. He gave the new team a deadline of May 1 to come up with recommendations.
The New York Observer reported that the mayor’s office is apparently using an affordable housing plan that the public advocate’s office developed under de Blasio’s direction a year ago as the blueprint for any new plan.