De Blasio and HUD’s Lynne Patton are feuding over NYCHA deal

The mayor said Trump's political appointee hasn’t been in involved in picking a new chair
March 22, 2019 11:00AM

Lynne Patton and Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

As NYCHA’s litany of issues continue to play out, Mayor Bill de Blasio is butting heads with Housing and Urban Development top local official, Lynne Patton.

The mayor said he’s in talks to name a new chair for the New York City Housing Authority, but that Patton’s take on the situation is simply not true, the New York Daily News reported.

“Everything she is saying is false, let’s make it simple. False, false false,” de Blasio said Thursday. “She is not in the discussions on the choice of the new chair, that is being done with the leadership of HUD in Washington and with the Southern District, extraordinarily productive conversations basically on a daily basis.”

Patton has previously criticized de Blasio for not naming a new leader more quickly. Naming a new chair is part of a settlement with the federal government, which has intervened due to deteriorating conditions at the authority’s buildings.

“Her president — she is his political appointee — just put forward a budget that would slash funding for NYCHA, slash funding for repairs, set back all the progress that we have proposed, so let’s just deal with the hypocrisy here,” de Blasio said. “If you’re Donald Trump’s agent in New York City and you are taking money away from public housing, time to stop acting like you’re here to help people in public housing.”

Patton took to Twitter to respond.

“And that is also patently ‘false, false, false.’ HE is not having “near daily” calls with leadership in DC & the SDNY,” she wrote. “I am. The SDNY is then relaying our collective position to Emma Wolfe, thru whom the Mayor is ‘pseudo participating’ in this critical selection 3rd hand.”

Earlier this year, Patton moved into NYCHA housing. She arrived at the Patterson Houses in Mott Haven in February as part of a stint aimed at getting a firsthand look at conditions in the nation’s largest public housing system.

NYCHA has settled federal litigation over mismanagement of tens of thousands of subsidized apartments. The agreement allows HUD to install a monitor overseeing NYCHA’s management and requires the city to make an additional investment of $2 billion over the next five years. NYCHA says its needed capital repairs total about $32 billion. [NYDN] — Meenal Vamburkar