New York Housing Board to Increase Tenant Representation

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Change is coming to the board of the New York City Housing Authority.

The state legislature has approved a plan backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that will expand the authority's governing board from four to seven members. Two of the board's full-time positions have been eliminated, leaving Chairman John Rhea as the only member collecting a salary.

Tenants will also see their representation on the board increase, from one to three members.

Wally Bazemore, a resident of Red Hook Houses and a long-time tenant advocate, said no one knows what is ailing the authority—known as NYCHA—more than its residents.

"I told Chairman Rhea that he has a resource that's never been tapped into and that's the residents," Bazemore said. "We have a lot of people that currently work for NYCHA, that live in NYCHA, that would have some expertise on what's going on in their own housing development."

The mayor will continue to control the board.

The state legislature passed the measure earlier this summer and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it into law this week.