Streams

Underreported: NYCHA’s Woes

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is the nation’s largest public housing authority. It’s also facing big troubles. It has a huge operating deficit on its budget, and is also dealing with rising fuel costs, deteriorating properties, and budget cuts. We look into how things got this bad, and what can be done to help save NYCHA. Leonard talks to Councilwoman Rosie Mendez and Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Julia Vitullo-Martin.

Guests:

Rosie Mendez and Julia Vitullo-Martin

Comments [3]

Elizabeth Franqui from Brooklyn, New York

I grew up in the Bushwick/Hylan Housing Projects in the 1970s. I am an attorney, and interned with the Legal Aid Society in the early 1990s. I think housing advocates have unwittingly harmed NYCHA and its budget with legal action requiring that homeless or individuals on public assistance receive priority housing. This has created a "warehousing" of poor instead of promoting the "project" model where people of mixed incomes encourages families to move up the economic ladder. Why is there so little discussion of the original "project" model?

Sep. 25 2008 01:55 PM
Diahann from New York

I'll tell you how they plan to pay for it- they plan to raise the rents of all tenants who make the most money. I'm a tenant of Lincoln Houses in Harlem. Please tell me why we can't have heat after 10 p.m. I know you are not required by law but it does get cold at night also. I have to run my oven at night.

Sep. 25 2008 01:55 PM
Ray Normandeau from Queensbridge Houses

There is a misconception of some that NYCHA tenants live rent free. Not so. Your rent is 30% of your income. If all you get is Social Security, NYCHA gets 30%. This is reasonable, but not free rent.

At one time USD HUD provided over 90% of NYCHA's funding. I think that it is down to under 40% now.

Queensbridge is the largest public housing development in North America and we have seen the result of budget cutbacks. Disadvantaged children here have not been taken on any education trips for approximately two years. Nighttime light outages are often not repaired. Broken mailboxes in some buildings have not been repaired for years.

Sep. 25 2008 11:33 AM

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