The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is under the microscope right now by some elected officials and the media. Melissa released the following statement yesterday in response to these recent reports:
“With all of the challenges facing NYCHA, we as local elected officials and advocates for public housing need to be constructive in expressing our concerns and seeking real solutions,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “In the context of this Republican Congress, which would like nothing more than to dismantle one of the largest remaining housing authorities in our nation, now is not the time to call for a federal investigation of NYCHA. In a city that has grown too expensive and now has the highest income disparity in the nation, NYCHA serves as an important stabilizing force, as the cornerstone of affordable housing in New York City. Clearly, we want all of our agencies to function effectively and efficiently, but we must not lose sight of how these sensational news stories, and the political response they have provoked, could serve to undermine all the work that still needs to be done to improve the lives of NYCHA’s 400,000 residents.”
The fact is that in the past three years, NYCHA has been making progress on many important issues, including: addressing the work order backlog, federalizing and preserving 20,000 units, enhancing employment and empowerment opportunities for residents, wisely investing stimulus funding, developing a “Green Agenda” and planning for the future. It was also during these past three years that they spent about $1.5 billion for a number of vital initiatives, including: completing the 75,000 repair work orders in more than 16,000 apartments citywide, $400 million in capital improvements such as brick work, elevator modernizations, boiler and electrical system upgrades and the creation of 3,200 jobs for New Yorkers. NYCHA has been actively working on empowering their residents with connecting them to jobs through the proven Jobs-Plus programs. That included over 500 members of our communities of East Harlem and the South Bronx.
Despite continuous federal cuts, NYCHA is working hard to have their Operating deficit completely eliminated in 2015-2016. We applaud NYCHA’s efforts to preserve and protect New York City public housing despite all of the cuts that they have endured.