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Thread: Public Housing in NYC

  1. #106
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    In Public Housing, Units Languish in Limbo

    By MIREYA NAVARRO


    Todd Heisler/The New York Times
    Miguel Polanco Jr., 4, and his sister Genesis Aramboles, 12, played in the living room, where Genesis has a bed,
    in their one-bedroom apartment at the Betances Houses in the Bronx. The family has been waiting for a larger
    apartment for years, while a four-bedroom sits vacant next door.



    Todd Heisler/The New York Times
    At the Betances Houses, 4B, a four-bedroom duplex, sat empty for nearly seven years.


    Two years ago, Chastity Ciprian said she asked about the two top-floor apartments, long vacant in her four-story building at Harlem River Houses, a public-housing project at the northern tip of Manhattan.

    She has a chronic rodent and roach problem in her two-bedroom apartment on the ground floor, she said, and wondered if the building management would let her move upstairs to Apartment 4A or 4B with her two young daughters.

    “I said, ‘I’ll take the fourth and not deal with the pests,’ ” said Ms. Ciprian, 36, an assistant at a day care center. “They said, ‘You don’t want the fourth floor, trust me.’ ”
    The apartments are still unoccupied.

    Apartment 4B has sat empty for nearly seven years, and 4A next door for almost two decades — since 1994, New York City Housing Authority auditors have found. They are among hundreds of public housing units that have languished unoccupied year after year awaiting major renovations or a decision about their fate.

    With nearly 179,000 apartments, the authority plays a key role in preserving the affordable housing the city already has. Although the authority has reduced the number of unoccupied units in recent years, it still allows many units to stay empty for long periods, long enough in some cases for the deterioration to spread.

    As recently as this year, internal auditors faulted the agency for a lack of strategies to return apartments to the rent rolls more quickly. But housing officials say a lack of money is the main impediment to prompt repairs. The agency, which relies on federal housing funds, estimates it has a capital budget shortfall of $6 billion. Many vacant apartments are in limbo, and more are at risk, the officials said, because of the steady decline in federal subsidies.

    “You really have to make choices,” said Cecil R. House, the authority’s general manager.

    The capital crunch also poses a test for Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who has promised to increase the city’s affordable housing stock. Public housing advocates say the question is whether the city will step in with its own money to help preserve public housing buildings, some of them dating to the 1930s and 1940s, as federal funds continue to dry up.

    “The city and state have capital they invest in stadiums and parks and museums and all sorts of public development,” said Victor Bach, a policy analyst with the Community Service Society of New York, an anti-poverty group. “It’s a matter of political will.”

    The empty apartments wear the indignities of abandonment: broken windows, missing deadbolts, ripped plaster, graffiti on the walls. Some are further defiled by people and birds.

    At Betances Houses in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, a group of teenagers broke into Apartment 4B in one of the buildings from the roof two years ago, neighbors said. They moved in a mattress and television set, staying there for several months until they left a bathroom faucet running; water leaked into the apartment downstairs, and police were summoned.

    “They were cooking, eating, having sex, using drugs,” said Joyse Ribera, 38, who lives next door, adding that her many complaints to the police and housing managers about the squatters went unheeded before the leak. “It looked like they weren’t going to school and came here.”

    The apartment, a four-bedroom duplex empty since 2006, was just recently rented and the new tenants moved in this month. Housing officials said they have brought down the number of apartments vacant and awaiting major renovation to fewer than 800, from several thousand. Another 2,300 apartments are vacant as a result of routine turnover or relocation, the officials said.

    But last year, Housing Authority internal auditors found that 319 of the vacant units had been empty for an average of more than seven years, awaiting major repairs like roof replacement. The auditors found that the work — and the return of the apartments to the rental pool — could be done more quickly. With the units off the rent rolls, the city has lost an estimated $1.4 million a year in rent, the auditors said.

    Hurricane Sandy produced a new batch of empty apartments whose tenants needed to relocate because of flooding and damage from the storm. Housing officials said 110 ground-floor apartments remained empty a year later.

    But more often a man-made problem has stymied efforts to bring apartments back on line. At West Brighton Houses on Staten Island, where 24 apartments were vacated between 2000 and 2006, the Housing Authority paid $391,445 on a $1.9 million renovation contract before halting the work, according to last year’s audit. Much more renovating was required than anticipated — including termite damage, rotting plumbing and the need to replace the roof — and the agency decided to cut its losses.

    The apartments are still boarded up.

    At Harlem River Houses, auditors have identified at least 42 apartments vacant for periods of four to 19 years. Housing officials said they have collected enough funds to bid $17 million worth of contracts this month for exterior brick and roof replacement and apartment repairs that were expected to start early next year.

    Officials said the top-floor apartments there were vacant because of water leakage. But they could not explain why some have sat empty since the 1990s, even before the housing agency’s capital budget took a nose-dive.

    Members of the New York congressional delegation have asked for a comprehensive audit of the authority’s operations, saying that the agency has to get its own house in order before it lobbies for more federal money.

    Scott M. Stringer, the city’s comptroller-elect, said he would begin such an audit when he takes office in January. “When you have thousands of people waiting, there’s no excuse for having any apartment vacant for five to 10 years,” he said, alluding to the more than 220,000 names on the wait list for an apartment in the projects.

    The work needed to bring some units back can be considerable.

    At Betances Houses, a complex of low-rise buildings, 4B, the empty four-bedroom temporarily invaded by teenagers, needed structural upgrades, housing officials said. The money was eventually found to do $3.4 million worth of work in that and other units — a total of 124 apartments — which was completed by 2011, they said.

    Housing officials said that some units at Betances remained vacant until now because they still needed minor work, although auditors found some to be in “good condition” last year. Another reason for delays, officials said, was the Bloomberg administration’s decision to hold off for several months on renting vacant public housing apartments so that families displaced by Hurricane Sandy could be accommodated.

    Still, the vacancies left some neighbors shaking their heads.

    Brazal Sway, 25, a hospital lab technician who said he lived in a city shelter with his family briefly when he was in his teens, before his mother got her place at Harlem River Houses, said: “That’s what’s messed up about it — for all these places to be open and there’s people in the shelters.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/ny...ewanted=1&_r=0

  2. #107
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    Policing the Projects of New York City, at a Hefty Price

    By MIREYA NAVARRO and JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN


    Michael Nagle for The New York Times
    Police officers conduct a top-to-bottom patrol in the Pink Houses in Brooklyn.
    The city’s 334 housing projects have 2,000 police officers assigned to them.

    After riding the elevator to the top floor of a building in the Louis H. Pink Houses in Brooklyn and scanning the rooftop, the police officers made their way back down, floor by floor, searching the stairwells and hallways. On the sixth floor, slumped against the stairs, was a man who said he was waiting for his ex-girlfriend. The officers ran a warrant check on the 49-year-old man and arrested him after learning he was wanted for a parole violation.

    “You never know what you’re going to find,” said one of the officers, Sgt. Marshall Winston, who has policed public housing for 23 years. “Sometimes we catch somebody with a gun. Other times we catch somebody with drugs. And sometimes you just catch somebody down on their luck.”

    The patrols, known as verticals, are painstaking police work, and for the New York City Housing Authority, they do not come cheap. About 2,000 officers are assigned to the projects, and Nycha, as the authority is known, pays the Police Department about $70 million a year. The payment is a legacy of the mergers that brought the transit and housing authority police forces into the New York Police Department almost 20 years ago.

    But the housing authority’s increasingly strained finances have focused attention on the payments, and Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who will be sworn in on Wednesday, has promised to end them. At a forum during the mayoral campaign, Mr. de Blasio said the money “was taken on the assumption that Nycha was just awash in federal money, all these wonderful resources coming into Nycha. And that hasn’t been true for decades.”

    Indeed, the housing authority has been adapting to a new reality that has left it with far less in subsidies, even as the demand for low- and moderate-income housing has grown. In a bid to raise money for repairs and maintenance, the city has been soliciting ideas for building market-rate apartments on open space in a handful of public housing developments.

    For the housing authority, holding onto the money it pays each year to the Police Department would be helpful, though a modest gain. One proposal calls for using the payments to leverage financing for $1 billion in much needed capital improvements in the city’s 344 housing projects.

    Ending the payment would require the two agencies to recast their relationship for the first time since the merger in 1995. The police commissioner at the time was none other than William J. Bratton, who has been chosen by Mr. de Blasio to lead the Police Department once again.

    A change could become entangled in the continuing debate over the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices. Those tactics were especially common at some projects and fueled tensions between tenants and officers. The police and others have pointed to the relatively high level of crime in public housing. According to the Police Department, about 20 percent of the city’s violent crimes take place in projects, home to about 5 percent of city residents.

    About two-thirds of crimes in public housing are violent, compared with about one-third citywide. So far this year, 55 of the city’s 328 homicides and 144 of the 1,365 rapes have occurred in public housing. (The number of robberies so far this year in public housing — 1,140 out of 18,634 citywide — is roughly proportional to the population.)

    The locations of public housing, often in higher-crime neighborhoods, and the layout of the complexes heighten the need for more policing, said Fritz Umbach of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who wrote a history of the housing police, “The Last Neighborhood Cops.”

    “Public housing is a unique policing context, not because the residents are more criminally prone, but because the architecture is distinctive and where it is in the city is distinctive,” he said. “This presents unique police challenges that can only be met with these over-and-above services.”

    Landlords of thousands of private residential buildings across the city have authorized the Police Department to patrol their hallways and stairwells, and the police do so — at their discretion — without charging.

    The opposition to funneling federal housing subsidies to the Police Department has been building as the authority’s budget has come up shorter each year. In a report last year, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, now the comptroller-elect, said public housing “residents are essentially charged twice for policing services — once through local taxes like all other New Yorkers and once through the reimbursement required of their landlord.” Public housing developments are exempt from property taxes, but the authority pays the city about $28 million a year in lieu of property taxes.

    The housing authority chairman, John B. Rhea, said that discontinuing the police payments “should be on the table,” but not at the expense of policing.

    John J. McCarthy, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, declined to discuss whether there were likely to be any changes to the police staffing levels in the Housing Bureau if the payments stopped. (The Police Department has officers assigned to public transit, as well, with 12 transit district stations citywide; New York City Transit pays the Police Department $4 million a year for fare evasion enforcement.)

    The housing authority created its own force in the 1950s to patrol on foot, pioneering what is now widely known as community policing, Mr. Umbach said. In 1994, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mr. Bratton argued that merging the housing force with the Police Department would consolidate bureaucracies and strategies. During the Giuliani administration, Mr. Bratton also presided over the integration of the transit police (which he had once led).

    The Housing Bureau has about 2,000 officers and supervisors, out of a total police force of more than 34,000. Four projects have police bases, and 15 have Police Department surveillance cameras. Since the merger, police figures show, major crimes have decreased, but the 45 percent decline in homicides, for example, is far shallower than the drop across the city as a whole.

    Some opponents of the merger predicted that officers would not be as invested in public housing, and some residents say the surge in stop-and-frisk encounters in recent years, often on suspicion of trespassing, was evidence of a deeper disconnect.

    Even as the number of stop-and-frisk encounters citywide has declined, there is still a tug-of-war between younger residents and the police over public spaces in some projects. Many younger residents chafe at what some describe as an occupying force that imposes de facto curfews.

    At the Frederick Douglass Houses in Upper Manhattan, some residents wondered what public housing gets for the money. They said the police force they see is undermanned and does not patrol enough.

    “I love my police officers, I really do,” said Carmen Quinones, a member of the project’s volunteer resident watch and a public housing resident for 40 years. “But they’re not protecting our buildings. We’re still being robbed. We’re still being mugged.”

    Nicholas D. Bloom, a public housing expert at the New York Institute of Technology, said that in the short term, the money “is not a game changer because of the major declines in federal operating and capital costs. But in the long-term it can add up to significant operating money.”

    Ultimately, Dr. Bloom said, Mr. de Blasio will need to decide whether to start funneling substantial city money to the housing agency.

    “So many people who don’t live in public housing don’t realize they are dependent on the well-being of public housing,” he said. “The maintenance of a good housing project brings security, and it’s a big factor in the value of property.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/27/ny...rice.html?_r=0

  3. #108
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    Broken Windows (Real Ones) Surge in Public Housing

    By MATT FLEGENHEIMER

    The broken window has long had a particular hold on the New York City psyche; at turns an emblem of disrepair and an inspiration for the policing strategy that has helped guide the New York Police Department for more than 20 years.

    Now, according to a report from the New York City comptroller’s office, windows across the city’s public housing complexes have fallen into a degree of disrepair that seems drawn from generations past.

    From 2005 to 2011, after a period of modest gains, the number of broken or missing windows in New York City Housing Authority buildings increased 945 percent, the report said. In 2011, the last year for which data was available, housing authority facilities were three times as likely to have broken or missing windows, compared to the city’s overall housing stock.

    In an interview, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said that while the punched-out windows of the 1970s and 1980s “gave a sense of abandonment,” often signaling an empty home, many residents today have few other options.

    “Folks are living there,” he said. “They have nowhere to go.”

    The report, to be released on Monday, also tracks quality-of-life problems in owner-occupied, rent-stabilized and market-rate homes. But such issues are consistently most pronounced for the city’s housing authority, which officials have said faces huge shortfalls that have left it unable to make timely repairs and meet many of its long-term capital needs.

    Heating system breakdowns in public housing increased by more than 72 percent from 2008 to 2011, according to the analysis, compared with a 20 percent increase for rent-stabilized tenants and 11 percent for market-rate tenants.


    Thirty-two percent of public housing residents reported leaks in 2011, compared with 29 percent in rent-stabilized buildings and 16 percent in market-rate homes.

    And that universal urban intruder, the common rodent, spared no housing type. Almost a quarter of city households reported seeing evidence of rodents in 2011 during the previous three months, according to the report, including 37 percent of public housing units. Owner-occupied homes were the least infested, with less than 11 percent reporting the presence of mice or rats.

    In a statement, the housing authority said that the de Blasio administration “has provided more support for Nycha” — as the agency is known — “than any other in decades,” noting that the report drew from years-old data.

    The report draws on data from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the United States Census Bureau’s Housing and Vacancy Survey from 2002 to 2011.

    The report noted that overall conditions in the city’s housing stock were at their highest levels since the Housing and Vacancy Survey began tracking them in 1965.

    As of 2011, 99.8 percent of all housing types were found to be in “structurally decent condition,” the comptroller’s office said, even as public housing residents increasingly raised concerns.

    In 2002, 60 percent of public housing apartments had at least one deficiency, according to the report. By 2011, the figure had jumped to 79 percent.

    The report called the poor conditions in public housing, relative to other types, “ironic considering the original mission of the New York City Housing Authority,” created in 1934 to provide affordable housing for low- and moderate-income people. “The way we are responding is not in the tradition of this city,” Mr. Stringer said, citing sweeping housing initiatives under Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and Mayor Edward I. Koch.

    Among the review’s other findings was one that Staten Island has the city’s highest-quality housing stock for rent-regulated and market-rate homes. The Bronx has the worst, the report said.

    More than one-third of African-Americans in rent-regulated homes reported at least three “serious maintenance deficiencies,” according to the analysis, making them the most likely to live in poorly maintained buildings. Twenty-eight percent of Hispanic households and 16 percent of white households in rent-regulated units reported at least three deficiencies.

    And a building’s height can be an indicator of its condition, the comptroller’s office said. In most housing types, a taller building suggests relatively few problems. But in public housing, the reverse has proved true: The highest percentage of deficient units (40.5 percent) was found in buildings over 20 stories.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/08/ny...rssnyt&emc=rss

  4. #109
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    Words fail me .


    Budget Cuts Reshape New York’s Public Housing

    By MIREYA NAVARRO


    Diane Robinson and her son, Malcolm Gibbs, of the Bronx are being asked to move into a one-bedroom
    apartment or pay $240 more in rent. Yana Paskova for The New York Times

    The crushing news came less than a year after Diane Robinson and her 24-year-old son moved into an airy two-bedroom apartment in the Bronx. The city, which helps pay her rent, wrote this summer to say she would have to downsize into a one-bedroom apartment or pay $240 more a month in rent.

    A public school aide, Ms. Robinson, 48, decided to stay in the apartment, in the Castle Hill neighborhood. But on an annual income of about $25,000, she is struggling, she said, and she does not know how long she can hang on. Moving to a one-bedroom apartment would mean that her son, a college student who works to help with food and utilities, would have to sleep in the living room. “My son works — he’s not entitled to have his own bedroom?” she said. “Next thing they’re going to tell me is that I’m not entitled to a roof over my head.”

    Thousands of New York City tenants are facing similar choices because of cuts to the federal Section 8 voucher program and the resulting belt-tightening by the city. The rental vouchers allow low- and moderate-income tenants to live in private buildings and to pay about 30 percent of their income in rent, with the voucher program making up the rest. The cost of the program is about $400 million a year. But federal budget cuts under sequestration last year have left the program $37 million short, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development said.


    "At my age, I don’t deserve a tiny place,” said Christina Sanchez, 67, a retired cafeteria helper
    who has been asked to move from a one-bedroom apartment at 40 Waterside Plaza into a studio.
    Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

    The agency, which administers the affected vouchers, stopped issuing new ones, rescinded dozens that had already been issued and declared more than 9,000 households “overhoused.” Such tenants were told to move to smaller, less expensive apartments or, if they chose to stay put, to be prepared to pay a higher rent in most cases because their subsidy will shrink.

    For the city, absent an infusion of funding, the alternative was ending subsidies outright for 3,000 Section 8 households, the housing and preservation agency said. Many of those households would then be at risk of homelessness at a time when the de Blasio administration is already working to reduce record numbers of homeless families.

    The downsizing, though, can be a painful process, robbing some longtime tenants of one of the things New Yorkers value the most in a crowded city — space. And it has outraged some elected officials and tenant leaders, who say the cuts are putting an undue burden on lower-income tenants.

    Like Ms. Robinson, many of them are trying to hold onto their current apartments even if it means paying substantially more in rent, city officials said.

    The current situation for her and her son, Malcolm Gibbs, is not sustainable, Ms. Robinson said, because the newly increased rent — she now pays $1,038 while the voucher pays $507 to her landlord — takes almost all of her paycheck.

    Under the new standards, two-person households living in two-bedroom apartments, like Ms. Robinson’s, must switch to a one-bedroom regardless of the tenants’ genders, relationship or ages.

    Only households with three to four people are eligible for two-bedroom apartments. This means that in some cases a child and a parent may have to share the bedroom or someone may have to sleep in the living room.

    Residents who live alone in apartments with bedrooms must move to studio apartments. Many of these voucher holders are older tenants who raised families in the larger units and now have an apartment full of a lifetime of belongings and mementos.

    Relatives of some older tenants said the notices about the moves, which started going out last year, had caused confusion and anxiety.

    In interviews, some of the older tenants said they worried about not having enough room for family visits or future needs like a live-in home health aide or a wheelchair. Others fretted over the more immediate problem of disposing of furniture and adjusting to smaller surroundings.

    “I can’t pull a sofa bed,” said Cristina Sanchez, 67, a retired school cafeteria helper who sleeps on a full bed in her small one-bedroom apartment in the Manhattan high rise where she has lived for 19 years. “At my age, I don’t deserve a tiny place.”

    About 120,000 city households receive Section 8 vouchers, with the housing preservation and development agency administering about one-quarter of those. Of the 32,000 under the agency’s control, a little less than one-third are affected by the downsizing cuts.

    The vast majority of Section 8 vouchers are administered by the New York City Housing Authority, which has also had its federal money cut. But the authority already had a policy of placing single tenants in studios and two-person households in one-bedrooms, so to deal with the federal cuts, the officials say they are not issuing new vouchers and have tapped reserves and other streams of federal funding.


    Ms. Sanchez has been asked to move from her 8th floor one-bedroom apartment at 40
    Waterside Plaza into a smaller studio. Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

    Vicki Been, the housing preservation agency’s commissioner, told the City Council at a public hearing this year that the agency anticipated further cuts in 2016.

    The cuts also affect affordable housing special populations like older adults and the formerly homeless, and the landlords who provide that housing, Ms. Been said in an interview.

    “Vouchers are absolutely critical to help this lowest income band, but they also help landlords who are fairly low-income themselves,” she said. “They shore up critical building stock that’s often left untouched by city programs.”

    Some vouchers pay thousands of dollars a month for units in high-rise buildings in areas like TriBeCa and the East River waterfront, where rents have risen much faster than household incomes.

    The average voucher subsidy is lower, though, ranging from $916 to $1,409, agency officials said.

    Council members, troubled by the impact on tenants, in July approved $250,000 to help cover some moving expenses. Members also negotiated with housing officials to give tenants up to a year to move, instead of just the 30-day deadline that had been imposed on most households.

    But some elected officials, including the Manhattan borough president, Gale A. Brewer, have called for a moratorium on the relocations while other solutions are explored.

    Some tenant groups are considering legal action. “When did a bedroom become a luxury in the United States?” asked Rita Popper, a leader of a tenants group fighting the moves, Housing Alliance Against Downsizing.

    Norman Siegel, the civil rights lawyer and the former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who represents the alliance, said the moves might be disproportionately affecting older and disabled tenants.

    City figures show that about 60 percent of those in notified households are elderly, disabled or both, slightly higher than their 54 percent proportion in the overall Section 8 population, according to the housing preservation and development agency.

    Housing officials are waiving their policy for tenants who have a disability or medical condition that requires a larger unit to accommodate a live-in aide or medical equipment. The city had granted 699 accommodations as of late August.

    Ms. Robinson, who is claiming financial hardship, was denied her request to stay but she has secured a hearing in October to appeal that decision.

    Ms. Robinson said she was forced to move last year to her current two-bedroom because her previous landlord was not making repairs. But to cover moving expenses like a deposit and broker’s fee, she took out a $5,000 loan.

    Even with her son’s help, she sometimes has to go to her church for food. Having once spent three months in a shelter for domestic abuse victims, Ms. Robinson says her greatest fear now is to end up back in a shelter.

    “The rents keep going up, up and now they decide to make this cut,” she said. “I may be faced with being homeless.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/12/ny...sing.html?_r=0

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    ^
    There's a whole lot of sense of entitlement in that article.

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    NYCHA Screwed Up Paperwork For More Surveillance Cameras

    by Christopher Robbins
    Nov 23, 2014


    (Andriy Prokopenko / Flickr)

    After 6-year-old P.J. Avitto was fatally stabbed in the elevator of a public housing complex in East New York, police had no surveillance footage of Avitto's killer because the city's housing authority had failed to install cameras. Mayor de Blasio expressed outrage that $42 million had been allotted for the cameras in 2012 and sat unused, and promised that they would be installed immediately. Now the Daily News reports that NYCHA could have gotten more help from the federal government to put the cameras in, but failed to file the proper paperwork.

    HUD was offering $3 million in "emergency safety and security grants" to housing authorities all over the country. Given the 31% increase in crime in New York City's housing projects since 1995, NYCHA certainly qualified to received several hundred thousand dollars, roughly the amount needed to outfit a single development, but a HUD document stated their application "“was not complete and did not meet the minimum threshold requirements."

    A NYCHA spokesperson told the News, "It's an error NYCHA regrets."

    For years, New York City's chronically underfunded public housing authority has made life difficult for the 600,000 people who live in the system. Rats, mold, and decrepit infrastructure created a culture of neglect that made NYCHA developments dangerous places to live. Empty units sat vacant for years while hundreds of thousands of low income New Yorkers sat on a waitlist.

    Mayor de Blasio pledged to take a "new approach" by appointing Shola Olatoye as NYCHA's chair.

    “(De Blasio) blamed previous delays on ‘unacceptable bureaucracy,’ ” the Rev. David Brawley, a pastor at St. Paul Community Baptist Church in East New York told the News.

    “Now we learn how little has changed for NYCHA residents over the past year under the mayor’s watch. The status quo has remained: ineptitude, distraction and neglect.”

    Only 50% of NYCHA's buildings have cameras. According to the de Blasio administration, 70% of the cameras that have been funded are installed.

    http://gothamist.com/2014/11/23/nych...k_for_more.php

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    NYCHA blasted in report for ‘deplorable’ conditions at public housing

    Sen. Jeffrey Klein called the NYCHA the city’s ‘worst landlord’ for the conditions found at public housing. Klein and other pols released a report that found buildings were not receiving proper repairs.

    BY Erin Durkin
    February 13, 2015

    Calling NYCHA the city’s “worst landlord,” state Sen. Jeffrey Klein and other pols released a report Thursday finding “deplorable” conditions at the authority’s developments.

    The pols surveyed 49 buildings at five developments in each borough — and found 17 pitch black stairwells with broken lights, and evidence of at least seven fires that had recently broken out, some sparked by hallways clogged with debris.

    There were also collapsing ceilings, walls covered in graffiti, and jammed fire doors.

    “The New York City Housing Authority may very well be the worst landlord in the city of New York. And that’s a shame,” Klein (D-Bronx) said. “Our public housing stock is spiraling out of control.”

    He proposed allowing private developers to “adopt” NYCHA projects and take over repairs there, in return for tax credits.

    “The process that exists now is too cumbersome. And individuals aren’t getting any repairs,” he said.

    He also said the state should provide $250 million for NYCHA, matched by the city.

    “This report highlights the critical need for additional funding to maintain and preserve public housing. As a landlord, NYCHA recognizes the urgency and enormity of the problems that affect our residents’ quality of life, and the de Blasio administration has made it a priority to address this since day one," NYCHA said in a statement.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/poli...icle-1.2113811

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    De Blasio Wants to Lease Public Housing Land to Developers

    May 19, 2015, by Jeremiah Budin


    Joel Raskin/Curbed Flickr pool

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to announce a number of changes to the New York City Housing Authority today. The Land Lease program would generate an expected $500 million over 10 years while simultaneously resulting in the creation of more affordable housing, but also stoking fears that the doors have been opened for public housing to be privatized. De Blasio, then Public Advocate, was highly critical of Bloomberg's version of the plan, which called for 20 percent of the units in the new buildings to be designated affordable.

    In addition, there will also be budget cuts at the agency, an increase in rent collections, and an increase in the amount that residents are charged for parking spots.

    Mayor de Blasio's Public Housing Plan to Seek City Aid and More Money From Tenants [NYT]
    NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio to Unveil 10-Year Plan to Fix Public Housing Agency [WSJ]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/0...developers.php

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