Housing Authority admits to leaving $75M in federal funds unclaimed

NYCHA failed to convert 5,000 units to Section 8 housing
March 27, 2015 11:05AM

At a City Council hearing Thursday, the New York City Housing Authority admitted that it left $75 million in federal subsidies unclaimed by failing to convert 5,000 units to section 8 housing.

The financially troubled agency took over approximately 12,000 units of city-and-state-owned housing eight years ago in order to make them eligible for federal money, according to the New York Observer.

But about 4,900 of those are currently not receiving any subsidies at all, Richard Couch, NYCHA’s chief financial officer, told the City Council.

“That could generate tens of millions of dollars every year. A new stream of revenue for the housing authority,” said Council member Ritchie Torres.

NYCHA officials emphasized that Section 8 is a voluntary program for which participants must sign themselves up, and that it is working on an outreach effort to get more tenants involved.

An audit by City Comptroller Scott Stringer last year found that $700 million in federal funds was surrendered by the agency between 2006 and 2011 due to similar circumstances of failing to meet the requirements to receive the subsidies.

This week, Michael Kelly was appointed as NYCHA’s new general manager. [NYO] — Tess Hofmann