Is this a seminal moment for the New York City Housing Authority?
The agency is already under relentless pressure from a broad-based coalition of critics who allege its widespread mismanagement of the many hundreds of city public housing developments it manages.
And now it has a clearly aroused super critic in Andrew M. Cuomo, who says he is poised to declare a state of emergency at the NYCHA. Following a recent tour of one metro housing project, the governor termed what he saw as “disgusting.” He says that profound changes need to quickly occur at the agency and that, if NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and housing officials dHimmelstein, McConnell, on’t make them, he will step in imminently and unilaterally do so.
The NYCHA’s woes are well documented and are of a long-term and growing nature. A steady stream of complaints have issued in recent years concerning conditions that are allegedly substandard and even deplorable.
Notwithstanding the criticisms, de Blasio has stood by the agency and its chief, asserting that a material paucity in state funding has been the primary catalyst linked with conceded underperformance. Federal subsidies to the NYCHA have dried up and, reportedly, the agency is still waiting to receive about $200 million promised by state legislators.
Cuomo does not dispute that, but counters that flat-out mismanagement and a “maze of bureaucracy” are more to blame for problems — such as a lack of heat and hot water — faced by the housing authority’s tenants. He is currently hinting at a number of notable changes, including new management and the appointment of a monitor to gauge reforms and progress.