NYCHA computer glitches cost Section 8 landlords, too

December 16, 2011 10:11AM

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The New York City Housing Authority’s new computer system has garnered much criticism, and even attracted a lawsuit, for improperly terminating rent subsidies for Section 8 recipients and causing them to be evicted by landlords. But according to the the New York Daily News, small landlords are also being victimized by the new $36 million computer system, dubbed “NYCHA Improving Customer Experience.”

Federal regulations require landlords to repair violations NYCHA finds in their building within 20 days of the inspection. If the landlord fails to meet the obligation NYCHA immediately suspends rent vouchers on behalf of Section 8 tenants.

Citing the example of Sean Murray, the owner of a nine-unit, rent-stabilized building at 5913 Tyndall Avenue in North Riverdale, the Daily News found that landlords are frequently given less than 20 days because of system processing delays. Still, Murray fixed the problem within the necessary time frame (and kept proof), but the new system didn’t register the repairs and so NYCHA will withhold the nearly $4,000 it pays him for three Section 8 tenants come Jan. 1.

Though the city has countered that the problems are overstated, and said the technology is still undergoing an adjustment period, the Daily News wondered when the housing authority would be held accountable for the glitches, rather than Section 8 landlords and tenants. [NYDN]