Public housing lacks money for repairs

October 25, 2010 12:30PM

Public housing is literally crumbling around the country, as federal money has been unable to keep up with the repair needs of older buildings. Over the last 15 years, 150,000 of the nation’s public housing units have been lost, as agencies have sold or torn down decrepit properties, officials told the New York Times. Tenants of New York’s public housing say repair delays have never been worse. The New York City Housing Authority already has 106,000 unfulfilled work orders, 9,000 of which are scheduled for 2012 and an additional 300 for 2013. The country’s housing authorities still need $22 billion to $32 billion to rehabilitate their buildings, said David Lipsetz, a senior adviser in the Office of Public and Indian Housing with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, an average of $25,000 for each of the 1.175 million public housing units. In response, HUD has drafted legislation that would allow housing agencies to borrow public and private money, using their land and buildings as equity, to finance repairs. [NYT]