Legislators call on NYCHA to spend funding
by Andrew Pavia
Nov 14, 2013 | 858 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Councilman Stephen Levin.
Councilman Stephen Levin.
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Local elected officials are calling on the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to begin using government funding to improve the quality of life in the city's public housing projects.

“We absolutely refuse to accept the sub-par policies that are currently in place at NYCHA,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “We’ll start by asking the current and incoming city comptroller’s office to conduct an audit into how NYCHA spends its money and how, or whether, it is filling apartments as needed.”

NYCHA workers and labor leaders voiced their concerns over the agency during a closed-door meeting with elected officials.

A recent article in the Daily News stated that NYCHA is sitting on $1 billion in federal funding while some buildings are in need for repairs. In addition to the money, workers were concerned that NYCHA is overpaying contractors to do work instead of using their own employees.

“This is a very important time when we will have a new mayor, a new NYCHA chair and board, but if there are no changes to the agency’s policies and practice, it will be just cosmetic,” said Gregory Flyod, president of Local 237. “Or the 12,000 men and women working for NYCHA will face the same frustrations.”

Some members of Congress have pointed out that it may become difficult for NYCHA to receive the federal aid it relies so heavily on due to the sequester cut of $127 million in funding for public housing and $78 million for Section 8 housing in New York City.

In Brooklyn, NYCHA residents are also facing an influx in crime. A man was shot and killed last Friday at 572-574 Warren Street, despite receiving funding to improve security at the public housing project.

Since 2009, over $200,000 in security funding has been allocated to 572-574 Warren Street, however it has not been spent to improve public safety.

“For the second time in a week, public housing residents in my district have experienced shootings in their communities,” said Councilman Stephen Levin. “Every New Yorker deserves to live in a safe and secure community, but unfortunately time and time again NYCHA and Office of Management and Budget have delayed the implementation of millions of dollars worth of security funds allocated by the City Council.”

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