The New York City Housing Authority has been quietly selling off about $18 million worth of unused supplies for a fraction of the price they originally cost taxpayers.
The goods include furniture, sinks, office supplies and briefcases, according to an investigation by the New York Daily News. Comptroller Scott Stringer is reportedly looking into NYCHA’s purchasing problems, which were previously identified in a 2012 report commissioned by NYCHA’s then-chairman John Rhea.
NYCHA has been selling the items on govdeals.com, a website that deals exclusively in government surplus. A large quantity of briefcases that would have been worth $6,700 at Office World was auctioned off for $710, according to the newspaper.
NYCHA issued a statement Tuesday saying the unused items “were ordered several years ago, inventoried and had minimal requests. We cannot speculate as to why they were never used.” NYCHA officials also said, “Getting rid of these items, which are expired, obsolete or no longer necessary, gets us closer to a place where we can ultimately clear out the spaces they occupy and repurpose them.”
NYCHA has come under fire recently from State Senator Jeffrey Klein for being the “worst landlord in the city.” In December, Stringer issued a report saying the agency had failed to take advantage of federal programs. [NYDN] — Tess Hofmann