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NYCHA Head Admits Problems, Plans to Overhaul Board

Two reports, one internal and the other external, highlight the problems within the agency.

The New York City Housing Authority’s boss admits that the agency is troubled, and vows to replace its high-paid board members with a new all-volunteer board, says the New York Daily News.

NYCHA head John Rhea admitted to the paper for the first time that the agency has a backlog of 338,000 maintenance orders, and that they won’t get to some of them for two years.

“We learned at the end of the day that NYCHA needs to look at all of its operations, from top to bottom,” Rhea told the paper on Thursday. “In almost every level of the NYCHA, there’s .”

Four new unsalaried members would replace board members Margarita Lopez and Emily Youssouf –. Two of the new board members will be residents of NYCHA housing. Currently, only one part-time board member is a NYCHA resident, and represents the 400,000 people living in 334 projects.

The NYCHA released a 20-page report announcing plans to improve conditions for its residents. The agency now vows to commit all capital funds to specific projects within 18 months (and spending the money within three years), reducing the volume of open requests for repairs, cutting repair response time, upgrading security at 85 developments and modernizing the application process.

A 112-page report by Boston Consulting Group found many instances where money was being misspent within the agency, like a $5 million storage unit that held only $10 million worth of inventory, an expensive and unused software package and empty office space. The report also found that the agency could eliminate two levels of management bureaucracy.

“The report does point out a number of things where we can do better,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged Thursday. “I think that’s true of probably everything.

According to the Daily News, the NYCHA plans to appoint a general manager, a chief financial officer and a chief procurement officer to help solve some of the problems highlighted in the report.

Joe Gonzalez August 17, 2012 at 07:31 PM
NYCHA Chair John Rhea MUST resign. Back on March 7, 2012 I was present when Mr. Rhea appeared in Fort Greene Community Center located at 177 Mrytle Avenue & publicly repeated what he stated at a similiar meeting in Fort Greene in 2010 which was that NYCHA had no money for repairs. It is now exposed that NYCHA has unspent $42 million dollars in a secret bank account for security cameras for the past eight years. And, NYCHA also has one billion dollars in bank accounts consisting of unspent federal funds for repairs. JOHN RHEA MUST RESIGN. I am calling for a federal probe to ascertain the facts and possibly bring criminal charges for fraud. I want the world to know that it was New York City Comptroller John Liu's office whose audits uncovered the John Rhea scam. Congratulations to Mr. John Liu.
Al Zheimers August 17, 2012 at 10:48 PM
John Rhea is responsible for this mess. He was out of work (he watched/assiste­d in bankrupting Lehman brothers), so he used his political connections to get a job he was not qualified for. He loved the perks of the job, the driver, the attention, the flirting female employees. He thought with his Harvard MBA, he knew better. First order of business, push out any employees that know what they are doing. He thought in his elite circle he had people that were more qualified to do the job. He forced out an excellent General Manager (Doug Apple), forced out a brilliant CFO (Felix Lam), just to name a few. He tried to replace the GM with his friend, the inept NYCHA CIO, only to be told by city hall that she isnt qualified. Thank God they were smart enough to see this. There has been an exodus from NYCHA of qualified people because of Rhea. That's what ruined this place. NYCHA was run very well a few years ago. It has nose-dived under this administration. Even Rhea's people that he brought in, have left. This man has a big ego, actually thinks he is important. He likes the finer things in life, and couldn't care less about any "project people" or the little people that work for NYCHA. NYCHA's strength is its employees. They are hard working and dedicated. This man came in and ruined a lot of lives. And its about time they got rid of Margarita Lopez. A crazy lesbian, who isn't qualified to run a motel, let alone the nations largest public housing authority.
Al Zheimers August 17, 2012 at 10:56 PM
John Rhea: INCOMPETENT. Plain english. So, when is he going? Why should more of our tax dollars go to this unqualified person? Cut his salary, move him out of his office, take his driver, take his vehicle, take his credit cards. There are much smarter people already there, that know what needs to be done. People lose jobs when they are incompetent. He should resign and get out of the way. He had three years and he couldnt do anything right, what, he's going to perform a miracle now?! Please....it makes me sick to read everyday about how terrible his management skills are, yet he is still there. Get out of the way John, you're hurting us. Take your MBA go get a job selling hotdogs (mustard is yellow, ketchup is red). I think you can handle it. (Maybe hire help to handle the money, you have to make change).

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