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Housing Authority Sitting on $1B, While Buildings Fall Into Disrepair

Much of the cash has been sitting in NYCHA accounts since 2009.

The New York City Housing Authority has been sitting on nearly $1 billion since 2009, while public housing buildings fall into disrepair, says the New York Daily News.

Nearly half of the unspent dollars – $485 million – has been sitting in NYCHA accounts for nearly two years, while more of the money – $233 million – dates back to 2009, says the article.

City Comptroller John Liu blasted the NYCHA last week for asking to borrow an additional $500 million while the authority won’t spend what it already has.

“Why NYCHA is sitting on a pile of money while residents suffer and buildings deteriorate is incomprehensible," Liu told the Daily News.

Earlier this year, Patch talked to NYCHA and HUD residents for our and found that many residents are living in squalor, building management is unhelpful to complaints, and repairs are often slow to be made. 

“We had a problem with mice really bad when my daughter was one years old, and the management was doing nothing to really help,” said Sheila Black, a HUD development. “I walked into the bedroom and saw her playing with something on the floor. I went to look, and it was a dead mouse.”

Ceiling leaks also plague Norgate Plaza, which attracts roaches and water bugs. Poor security is also an issue, said residents, because the doorman is afraid of confrontation and will allow anyone into the building.

At 575 Willoughby Ave., , rotting floors and moldy walls. 701 Willoughby Ave. had bedbugs and uneven floorboards.

The Daily News points out that while NYCHA residents live in run-down conditions, NYCHA board members earn close to $200,000 and live in expensive Manhattan apartments. Chairman John Rhea is even chauffeured to work everyday in a black SUV.

The only board member who actually resides in an NYCHA building is qualified as “part time” and earns only $250 per month.

As for the almost $1 billion sitting in the authority’s accounts, board member Margarita Lopez told the Daily News:

“There are unforeseen factors that have to be put in the equation. NYCHA got the money from the federal government. The federal government has different regulations and different demands.”

CORRECTION 8/3, 10:40a.m.: Some of the developments investigated in the Crisis in Housing series were HUD developments, not NYCHA, including Norgate Plaza. 

Carmen August 01, 2012 at 11:13 PM
That is very true I live in the WHITMAN HOUSING DEVELOPMENT and ever since I moved here my son has been having asma attacks which his last attack was when he was 3 months old, the building were I live collects alots of dust on the walls, I have pealing paint, the heaters are old, the elevator and building is cleaned once a month, and when there are complaints nothing is done...
Stephanie Brooks August 02, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Well this is all part of the process of herding low income residence out of public housing period. can anyone explain to me how the city shelters are full and how the city pays top dollar rent to home owners in the section 8 program while public housing go's to hell?
pat August 02, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Public housing needs to go away, or turned into housing for the elderly. Crime factories with a few great people living in them.
Lorenzo Taylor August 02, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Housing is a joke...they need better mangers running the development people who care about the tenants, and works who work. And this call in for repairs is the biggest joke, a central place for complanes and they give you ticket number. I live right across the from the Management Office it takes weeks for them to do a job.
Zenobia Moadebe August 03, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Wow Pat I beg to differ Low income housing is needed for those with low to no income. In these hard economic times we should all be able to relate to having less. Even the answer to the great gentification migration is suppose to be about affordable housing

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