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Housing Authority Confirms Advisory Role for Housing Council in Tenant Selection

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A Housing Authority spokesman confirmed today that the Community Housing Council in the Arverne-Edgemere section of Queens, led by Orthodox Rabbi Herschel Solnica of the Young Israel of the Rockaways, has been granted an advisory role in the selection of tenants for a low-income housing project. But the spokesman stressed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “we have not given up our right to select tenants.” The 712-unit project is scheduled to open in June in the middle-income neighborhood.

The Housing Authority spokesman indicated, however, that the Authority did not act to increase social and psychiatric services and security in the neighborhood only after pressure by the Community Housing Council. If Rabbi Solnica wanted to make such a claim, he said, it was up to him, but the Authority would not agree with it.

Rabbi Solnica had told the JTA yesterday that his Council’s efforts had led to an awakening by Housing Authority chairman Simeon Golar to special neighborhood needs in view of the impending influx of low-income residents. The Housing Authority spokesman contended that the unit’s “special effort” in that regard had not necessarily been catalyzed by the community group.

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