On Tuesday, Ja Rule joined officials from New York City at City Hall to protest the state of NYC public housing, which has left hundreds of thousands of people without heat or hot water this winter. The crisis is going unchecked in part because the New York City Housing Authority has its own internal system for handling complaints, which reportedly allows landlords to get away with practices that in private housing normally result in large fines. In an interview earlier this month, Ja Rule explained that the issue is important to him because he grew up in the city's public housing.
"I was raised in public housing, my mom worked two to three jobs to try and feed us," he told FOX 5's Lisa Atkins on a panel about the New York City Housing Authority. "I’m really upset at the fact that we’re all here right now, talking about heat. It’s a human right to have heat in your building that you live in."
According to the New York Times, heating or hot water outages affected 143,000 apartments between October 1, 2017 and January 22, 2018, with the average heat outage lasting 48 hours. The result is that at least 323,098 people, or more than 80 percent of the Housing Authority’s residents, were without heat at some point during the winter. At City Hall, Ja Rule urged citizens to press the NYCHA, mayor, and governor for solutions.
“Let’s come out and let’s fight this cause first," he told the crowd. "Let’s shut this city down. We ain’t paying no more rent until this situation is dealt with. No heat, no hot water? No money, no rent."
Watch the full press conference below.
Thumbnail courtesy of Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for City Harvest.