Aug. 19, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio have indirectly exchanged harsh words over the last two days about the Phipps Housing project in Sunnyside.
Words were fired back-and-forth after de Blasio lashed out how an affordable project in Upper Manhattan was voted down in the council earlier in the week.
“Turning down affordable housing, I can’t follow that. I can’t understand that,” he said at an unrelated event on Thursday.
The next affordable housing project that is going before for City Council is the 209-unit Phipps Housing complex at 50-25 Barnett Avenue.
Van Bramer has been outspoken in his opposition to the project, especially criticizing its size in relation to the surrounding neighborhood.
His opposition is likely to derail the Phipps plan, since it is protocol for the council to follow the lead of the council member representing the district where a development is to take place.
De Blasio, however, is an advocate for the proposal. “I am going to have a polite but firm conversation with the councilman, who I know very well and respect greatly,” de Blasio said.
Van Bramer quickly fired back on Twitter when a reporter brought de Blasio’s statement to his attention: “And he will be met with a polite and even firmer response.”
“If the Mayor wishes to have a polite conversation about his arguments in support of the Phipps development, and my reasons for being opposed, he has my phone number. I gladly await his call,” Van Bramer said.
“I do not work for the mayor of the City of New York,” Van Bramer told NY1 News. “I am not on his staff and I am not his child.”
The project will go to a vote in the City Council as soon as next month.