New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a homeless woman “I’m in the middle of doing my workout” when she approached him at Brooklyn gym Friday morning asking why more housing wasn’t available for the city's homeless population.
Nathylin Flower Adesegun, a 72-year-old activist with VOCAL-NY, can be seen in a video approaching the mayor at a YMCA in the Park Slope area. She asked him why, by some figures, just 5 percent of the 300,000 units in his affordable housing program will go to the city’s homeless population.
“I’m in the middle of doing my workout,” de Blasio said. “I can’t do this now.”
De Blasio’s security detail stepped in as the mayor walked away saying, “I’m not doing this here.”
Another activist can be heard saying, “Why won’t you commit more housing for homeless New Yorkers, Mayor de Blasio?”
The mayor’s office, reached for comment, replied, "No thanks," in an email.
Ms. Flowers, as she is called by fellow activists, was referencing de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, which allows contractors to build larger projects if a certain percentage of the units are set aside for affordable housing.
Advocates for the city’s homeless population argue that even these income requirements are too high.
Coalition for the Homeless policy director Giselle Routhier told Park Slope Patch that while the program has added more than 300,000 units, only 5 percent were designated for homeless New Yorkers.
Ms. Flowers said Mayor de Blasio “made it clear that his morning workout was more important to him.”
"Am I just supposed to stay homeless?"