CORRECTION 8/3, 11:40a.m.: Some of the developments investigated in the "Crisis in Housing" series were HUD developments, not NYCHA, including Norgate Plaza.
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.
“The NYCHA operation is like an onion; the more you peel back the more you want to cry,” Liu said in a statement. “The financials in their draft plan, set against the backdrop of ineffectiveness by NYCHA leadership, is a recipe for disaster, and those who feel the brunt of the pain are the residents. These serious questions demand comprehensive answers.”
Earlier this year, Patch talked to NYCHA 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, . “I walked into the bedroom and saw her playing with something on the floor. I went to look, and it was a dead mouse.”
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.”