Vision Homeless?

The prediction of an old H411 post

Anyone who's dared question HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia's Vision 20/20  has been slimed as either racist, a KKK member, classist, a disseminater of misinformation,  or has vile words falsely attributed to him/her (Councilman Mello slandered about calling HHA resident "monkeys", Council President Cunningham advised to cut up his wife's pillowcases for a KKK hood, GA slandered  about calling the HHA a "plantation", and so on and on).

Questions about Garcia's Vision have concerned the project's: (1)  lack of community input,  (2) lack of information (i.e.; one concept plan with no other details),   (3) unseemly midnight push for PILOT agreements,  (4) design problems (asphalt parking lots surrounding buildings), (5) no back-up generators to be provided by developer (Mayor Zimmer's letter to Garcia), (6) astronomical developer fees "$1.5 million" for a single building (The Hoboken Reporter)  (7)  mysterious developer agreement- where is it?  why isn't it posted on the HHA website? (8) how many units will go market rate and how many will be affordable housing? (9) will every current HHA resident be guaranteed a home? and (10) why are those who ask questions being slimed by Garcia and his associates?  

That last one is the big 'Tell'...

The plan: bully Hobokenites  into submission.

Because unless you submit to Carmelo's Vision; a massive 17-acre redevelopment that is smelling worse each day,  you are "against them".   Those "against them" have been subjected to extraordinary bullying, intimidation,  protests at their homes, Photoshops, a threat to travel out-of-state to picket a Commissioner's house, a threat to use the U.S. Postal service to force a steward of federal monies to resign his post... 


Behind all that smoke, a fire is raging.

The smoke has wafted to Eugene Drayton, NAACP President of our local Chapter.

 This weekend Drayton went on the record with his questions about Garcia's Vision, telling Al Sullivan he has "unresolved" concerns that poor, needy residents will be made homeless once their homes are razed.  Under that scenario, new construction goes market rate with affordable housing mandated by statute, which would be sharply lower than the pre-construction number of HHA dwelling units-806.  And there is a ton of money to be made under that scenario- so what is to stop it from happening?  What is to stop Hoboken's HHA families from being displaced?

Like what happened to the Washington D.C. residents of Section 8 housing that was razed in a similar-style "Vision".
By now, Mary Dews-Hall was supposed to be back home. When the city tore down Temple Courts five years ago, staff assured her that she and her neighbors would return. That there was a plan. That this time wouldn’t be like the others, when poor, black neighborhoods were paved over in the name of progress. 

 The New Communities Initiative was going to infuse prosperity into this troubled area, 10 blocks from the Capitol. It would serve as a template for remaking other violent neighborhoods in the District, a commitment to those who felt a changing city was leaving them behind. 

By the end of this year,180 units were to have been built for former Temple Courts tenants. So far, the plan hasn’t delivered one.

Today, hundreds remain far from their homes, some in living conditions no better than the ones they left. They navigate a city where, studies show, the number of low-cost units has shrunk by half while rents have increased by about 50 percent.

Giddy at the prospect of creating a better neighborhood, politicians grinned as a wrecking ball razed the complex at 33 K Street NW. Yet, sitting in the property records, unnoticed, was a restriction that would cripple the project.

Dews-Hall’s former home is now a parking lot. Spaces go for $8 a day, in a Zip code that is gaining white people at a rate faster than any other place in the city. This spring, NPR moved in across the street. The city bestowed $40 million worth of tax abatements and froze property taxes for 20 years to keep the media organization in the city.
So what will happen to Drayton, given the scorched earth tactics of those who show "no mercy" to those "against them"?

GA was told that an overwhelming majority of those polled on Vision 20/ 20 favor having more information and community input versus proceeding with the project now.

So maybe they are the people against us.


  1. We need 'just the facts' - before any intelligent decision can be made on Vision 20/20, or any plan that will have such an impact on affected residents. I have lived in a HHA building on Jackson St. and other locations in the 4th Ward.
    I still live in this good city and want we should all want to make it great.

    1. Carmelo's WayJuly 22, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      Why do you people insist on facts. Carmelo gave you all the facts you need. Then he sent out his spokespeople to defend those facts you were already given.

      Next council meeting when the clock strikes midnight, we get our approval and PILOT!
      Michael Russo and Tim Occhipinti are all set to go!

  2. Save the Projects! Vision 2020 equals Eviction!!! Think about the plan. Why would developers spend billions of dollars and only to receive 20% of the apts available for luxury housing? Does this sound economically feasible? Why would rich, white wealthy people want to live in a building where the population is predominately black and pay top rent? This also makes no sense. Developers are spending billions of so they can take over the whole area. This is why Carmello Garcia is not guaranteeing housing to the current HHA residents!!! Because the plan is to evict us all!!! Once the HHA is no longer part of the HUD mandate, tenants are no longer protected. Many of those people you see shouting at city hall meetings & protesting are paid stooges of Carmello. Although it is true, some are deluded tenants who believe the lies of Carmello & his stooges. The only reason, people haven't come forward or few have is simple, the HHA residents are terrified to come forward. They are being threatened with eviction, arrest, bodily harm to them and their children, and damage to their vehicles. This is unacceptable!!! We in fact ask the mayor to intervene on behalf of HHA tenants. We should have a truly open forum, where we shouldn't fear harm coming to us or are children. For shame, Carmelo!! If you live in Public Housing or Rent Controlled housing (because those are next) and want to get involved in opposing this plan that will put thousands of poor, disabled people, women & children of color on the street, please contact us at:


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