The Real Deal New York

Despite tenant complaints, NYCHA sits on nearly $1B of unspent federal funds

August 01, 2012 09:30AM

While each week seems to bring new reports of unsafe or unhealthy conditions in public housing projects, the New York City Housing Authority is sitting on $955 million in unspent funds since 2009. And according to the New York Daily News, it’s now seeking to borrow another $500 million.

The agency has been awarded more than $1.2 billion since 2009 to help maintain living conditions for the 400,000 residents living in its 178,000 apartments across 334 developments. The funds are also meant to help subsidize the city’s 232,000 Section 8 renters. But the agency has spent less than $250 million of the money over the period.

“Why NYCHA is sitting on a pile of money while residents suffer and buildings deteriorate is incomprehensible,” Comptroller John Liu told the News. The paper quoted many public housing tenants complaining of slow responses to complaints and poor living conditions. The money could be used to fix those problems, they said.

But NYCHA board member Margarita Lopez countered that “there are unforeseen factors that have to be put in the equation.” She added: “NYCHA got the money from the federal government … the federal government has different regulations and different demands.” [NYDN]