Morales criticizes Phipps Houses after concerns about her past involvement

Mayoral candidate Dianne Morales.
Mayoral candidate Dianne Morales.
Dimitri Rodriguez
Mayoral candidate Dianne Morales.

Morales criticizes Phipps Houses after concerns about her past involvement

Mayoral candidate Dianne Morales used to lead Phipps Neighborhoods, its social services arm in the South Bronx.
April 21, 2021

Mayoral candidate Dianne Morales has faced pressure to address concerns about nonprofit developer Phipps Houses’ reputation as one of New York City’s “worst landlords,” given that she used to lead its social services arm.

After declining to publicly respond to criticism of Phipps Houses throughout her campaign, Morales addressed those concerns this week, Politico reports. 

“Dianne absolutely agrees with advocacy groups that Phipps Houses is a bad landlord,” said spokesperson Lauren Liles.

The response comes soon after Morales was selected as the second-place candidate for the Working Families Party. During the endorsement process, some members of the party dinged her for struggling to respond to a question on holding Phipps Houses accountable, according to Politico.

In the past, Morales and her campaign have emphasized that she didn’t have any involvement with Phipps Houses while leading Phipps Neighborhoods, a charitable arm that provides education and job training programs in the South Bronx. 

Tenant groups and elected officials have been critical of Phipps Houses, which ranks number 11 on the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition’s 2019 list of landlords who have evicted the most tenants. Residents in the organization’s buildings have complained about pests, mold and delayed responses to maintenance issues. Phipps Houses has argued that those concerns don’t accurately reflect the experience of many of its tenants. 

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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