The incoming head of the New York City Housing Authority is facing backlash over reports that he will take home a $402,000 salary.
Mayor de Blasio recently appointed Gregory Russ for the post after months of deliberations and delays. Russ currently leads the Minneapolis’ public housing authority, and will take up the NYCHA position in August.
Tenants, politicians and advocates in New York have criticized the appointment, noting that Russ will earn an unprecedented salary while spending considerable time in Minneapolis, where his family plans to stay over the next school year, according to The City.
“It strikes me as absurd that he’s getting paid far more than any previous NYCHA chair to officially do less work,” Councilmember Ritchie Torres told The City.
Russ’ paycheck is higher than that of both de Blasio, who earns $258,750, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose recent salary increase will see him earn $250,000 by 2021. President Donald Trump makes $400,000.
NYCHA will be footing the bill for roughly $240,000 of Russ’ salary, while the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will cover the rest.
Russ was an early advocate for the Obama-era Rental Assistance Demonstration, or RAD, under which private developers took over public-housing repairs. Last November, Mayor de Blasio announced that the NYCHA would repair 62,000 apartments through RAD in the next decade. [The City] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan