While City Council unanimously approved a bill last month requiring the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to publicly disclose information about builders of affordable housing – in an effort for more oversight – Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to veto it, says the New York Times.
And while Bloomberg contends that , one element of the bill – disclosing information about workers’ wages – would be too costly and irrelevant to resolving construction complaints, he says.
According to the paper, almost all of the work done on subsidized housing is performed by nonunion companies.
Robert Bonanza, business manager for the Mason Tenders District Council, believes there is a connection between construction problems in affordable housing units and these nonunion companies that pay lower wages and do not properly train workers.
“We all want an affordable housing program that provides quality, safe housing for New Yorkers at an affordable cost,” Mr. Bonanza told the paper. “However, workers have been exploited and residents have been left with shoddy, dangerous homes.”
Eric Bederman, a spokesman for Housing Preservation and Development, estimates that 11 percent of the 5,214 for-sale apartments for moderate-income households sponsored by the agency have had problems.
In Bed-Stuy, the Times profiles Anita Clark, who moved into a new row house on Lexington Avenue in 2008, but since then has had to deal with building problems like a rickety deck, a leaky roof and sewage backing up in her bathroom.
When she was unable to get the problems fixed, she contacted a union organizer from the Mason Tenders who was working with homeowners of city-sponsored projects, and was later featured on NBC New York’s “George to the Rescue,” a home repair show.
Last December, , alleging that developer Delight Construction built shoddy homes and that former HPD official Wendell Walters tried to swindle them out of extra cash.
Recently, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries , claiming that public housing buildings have fallen into disrepair at the hands of the agency.