Mayor Bill de Blasio has chosen the city’s sanitation commissioner to temporarily run the troubled New York City Housing Authority.
Kathryn Garcia will replace Stanley Brezenoff, who’s been interim chairman since last year, the New York TImes reported. Brezenoff was appointed amid the authority’s lead-paint scandal and will step down on Feb. 15.
The appointment comes on the heels of the city’s deal with the federal government to have a monitor to oversee improvements to the system, which houses more than 400,000 New Yorkers. NYCHA, which has faced criticism for mismanagement and the poor condition of its apartments, was facing a federal takeover. The city has committed to invest at least $2.2 billion in its 325 housing projects.
Under the agreement, a permanent leader will be chosen jointly by the city, Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. Garcia will run NYCHA and take a temporary leave from the Department of Sanitation while the search for a permanent replacement is ongoing.
“I am going to work every single day to make life better for the 400,000 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home,” Garcia said in a statement.
Brezenoff helped form the plan to tackle the nearly $32 billion of repairs in the system. Under the plan, daily operations of one-third of the housing will be handled by private developers who will do renovations and repairs. [NYT] — Meenal Vamburkar