The New York City Housing Authority is under fire by city Comptroller Scott Stringer for allegedly missing out on $700 million over the last decade that could have been used to improve decaying public housing stock.
Stringer released a new audit Wednesday detailing ways that NYCHA failed to take advantage of federal programs, Crain’s reported. The programs could have paid for widespread heating and lighting upgrades, and also could have shifted the burden of thousands of apartments to the federal government. According to the audit, the authority did not push to convert 8,400 units of public housing to federally funded Section 8 vouchers.
“The nearly $700 million that was left on the table could and should have been used to maintain, repair and rebuild New York’s deteriorating public housing stock,” Stringer said in a statement released with the audit. “The culture of incompetence at NYCHA is an insult to residents and all New Yorkers at a time when the authority needs all the funds it can get to help fill its crippling funding gaps.”
The report also said NYCHA could have minimized cuts to its budget, which have totaled $1 billion since 2001.
NYCHA disputed the audit’s findings and called it alarmist and unrealistic in a response statement.
Stringer has a history of criticizing NYCHA. Just this year, he has released audits castigating them for mismanagement of a construction jobs program, and also cataloguing complaints from NYCHA residents. [Crain’s] — Tess Hofmann