The Real Deal New York

New York’s public housing falling apart as fiscal crisis sets in

Housing authority facing $18B in unfunded capital improvements; 'it's beyond triage'

August 12, 2014 10:02AM

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From left: Bill de Blasio and NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye and Hammel Houses in Queens

From left: Bill de Blasio and NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye and Hammel Houses in Queens

New York City Housing Authority officials say the city’s public housing system cannot meet its day-to-day obligations and the situation has become dire.

Rent and federal funding are no longer covering costs in NYCHA buildings, leaving the authority with a $77 million budget deficit and $18 billion in unfunded capital needs, the New York Times reported.  Federal funding for capital projects, which contributes two thirds of NYCHA’s income, has fallen from $419 million in 2001 to $294 million this year, according to the newspaper.

As a result, 2,600 buildings at 334 developments are putting off necessary repairs and renovations. In one building, the top floors are vacant due to chronic leaks, exacerbating the shortage of housing in NYCHA buildings. In another, bricks are falling from a crumbling façade, the Times reported.

“I wish it were triage,” Shola Olatoye, NYCHA’s chairwoman, told the newspaper. “It’s beyond triage.” [NYT]Tom DiChristopher

  • marknroses

    I thought housing was a human right. Mother nature has something to say bout that.

  • PrivatePropertyRules

    This is why we have private ownership structures in this country. Public ownership doesn’t work. It results in inefficiencies, waste, and then taxpayer-funded losses. There is no incentive to thrive when there is public ownership. Private owners know that either they figure out a way to survive or the market will take them down. When there is public ownership there is never that fear of loss – because politicians can always steal money from the taxpayers to pay for losses. Look at the Postal Service. Then the question always comes up: “then where will all the poor people live?”. If we had a true free market in this city then rents would be significantly lower and we wouldn’t have a welfare system that results in a disincentive to work. There would certainly be poor people and there would be private charities and churches that would take care of the very bottom rung. A working middle class would emerge to a greater degree. People would be more independent, more productive and less resentful and envious. But then politicians would feel no power if people were independent and making decisions based on their own self-interest. If a politician isn’t solving peoples’ problems for them then what do we need them for? Exactly.

    • Crian Bashman

      Someone never read How the Other Half Lives…

      • FreedomAndPlenty

        “The coordination of mens’ activities through central planning or through voluntary cooperation are roads going in very different directions, the first to serfdom and poverty the second to freedom and plenty.” – F.A. Hayek

    • AnoNYC

      Plenty of crappy privately owned buildings in NYC. Usually in worse shape than any NYCHA property i’ve seen.

      • FreedomWorks

        Yes, privately owned building with rent stabilized, rent controlled, section 8, blah blah blah. What good is private property if the fate of that property is mandated by government?

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