As most of you already know, the Red Hook Community Justice Center is the housing court for cases arising out of the Red Hook Houses East and West (the Houses), a public housing development managed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). The Houses is home to approximately 70% of the folks who live in Red Hook. Built in 1938, the Houses originally consisted of 27 six-story brown brick buildings containing 2,545 apartments. Three additional buildings were constructed in 1955, for a grand total of 2,891 apartments. Suffice it to say, the Houses is one of the oldest and largest public housing developments in the United States.
I could attempt to describe the 'community court approach' to housing matters, but I prefer to let the work speak for itself:
A tenant was in court yesterday, reporting that she was knocked unconscious by falling plaster in her apartment. When this was brought to the Court's attention, Judge Calabrese immediately left the bench and visited the apartment. He proceeded to conduct an inspection of the conditions and issued an on-site order to NYCHA to complete the repairs and report compliance to the Court (see above photo).
To paraphrase Judge Calabrese, problem-solving justice isn't always easy... but it's moments like this that remind us that it is always worth it!