City housing authority can use police budget for repairs

De Blasio decreed that $52.5M of $72M budget will be put towards long-delayed apartment fixes

From left: Queensbridge Houses and Mayor Bill de Blasio
From left: Queensbridge Houses and Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to allocate $52.5 million in his preliminary budget to tackle long-delayed apartment repairs in New York City Housing Authority buildings.

The funds are to be gleaned from changing the longstanding practice of paying police in the authority’s buildings via its own funds — a move de Blasio called a “crucial step forward for NYCHA.” There was no immediate indication of where the police pay would come from after the change.

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There are currently 420,000 outstanding repair requests by NYCHA tenants, according to the New York Daily News — a backlog Mayor Bloomberg vowed to eliminate by the end of 2013, but failed to see through.

The spending reroute, de Blasio said, will “reduce the outstanding work orders by 33 percent” and reduce response times for basic maintenance. The plan will also “create an independent inspection unit to make sure these repairs are done properly,” de Blasio told the News. [NYDN]Julie Strickland