Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed a 50-year resident of city public housing to fill the newly created Resident Board Member position on the New York City Housing Authority Board. The appointee, Victor Gonzalez, has served as the president of the Residents Association at The Rabbi Stephen Wise Towers Near Columbus Avenue And West 90th Street on the Upper West Side since 2003. He spent 33 years working for United Parcel Service before retiring in 2005, served five years in the U.S. Air Force and has a Bachelor’s degree from Mercy College.
His position was created to give residents a voice on public housing policy and to offer better transparency to the decision-making process, according to Robert Steel, deputy mayor for economic development. Gonzalez joins John Rhea, the authority’s chairman, Emily Youssouf, the vice chair, and former City Council member Margarita Lopez on the board. He is set to begin July 20. “The work that I have already done as president of Wise Towers’ Residents Association for eight years has provided me with the experience necessary to be of service for public housing residents on NYCHA’s Board,” Gonzalez said. “I have done extensive work with advocacy groups, organizing workshop meetings for tenants and working with the Resident Advisory Board to increase its size and reach. I consider the under-funding by the federal government and safety and security to be among the most pressing issues facing public housing today.” — Adam Fusfeld