Exec. Dir. Carmelo Garcia’s HHA contract terminated: The march, chaos and vote


Despite hundreds marching in his support, and a chaotic atmosphere that almost ended the meeting, Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia’s contract was terminated by the board of commissioners.

Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33)
Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33)

Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA) tenants marched from 221 Jackson St. to Hoboken City Hall in support of Executive Director Carmelo Garcia before a special meeting to terminate his contract with the housing authority. (rough cuts, no narration)

Hoboken citizens squeezed into city hall for the special meeting of the HHA Board of Commissioners. Chaos erupted when Margarita Garcia, wife of Carmelo Garcia, had an altercation with a member of the crowd in support of terminating Garcia’s contract.

Editor’s Note: Portions of Roman Brice’s first person accounts of the meeting can be viewed here and here.

Amidst a raucous crowd that refused to be silenced despite a heavy police presence, Chairwoman Dana Wefer was finally able to call a vote to terminate Garcia’s contract. As the crowd continued to loudly voice their displeasure, the board passed the measure by a vote of 5-2 – with only commissioners Jeanne Rodriguez and Rob Davis voting no.

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  1. Mr. Garcia in 2001 shouted "Viva Applied" in management-sponsored rallies urging tenants to sign a petition to drop Section 8 housing. When the lawsuit was dropped Applied Housing went from 90% affordable housing to 70%; evicting thousands. This is how Mr. Garcia got his start in politics; betraying his own as the residents most affected were of Puerto-Rican origin like him. Later here in Public Housing he tried to push Vision 20/20 in 2013 which would have evicted and displaced over 806 families. Everyone is aware some of his supporters are paid to be at these meetings. However, It's very sad to see other Residents of the HHA so deluded defending a man who they should know better to defend-a man who has no ethics nor scruples. Good riddance to Mr. Garcia. It's about time we have a more honest director. Hopefully one who cares more about us and will not sell us out.

  2. What about the scandal that the HHA is keeping mum on?… Karol Lorde who was the assistant manager for Fox Hills getting arrested. She was stealing from the tenants? She prayed on the elderly. No one has said a word but a large amount of elderly tenants had to go to court to keep from getting evicted. No answers from any of the HHA. (We can’t comment was what I was told) I am glad Mr. Garcia was terminated. He did nothing but keep quiet.