If it’s broke, make sure they don’t fix it: State agency blasted over “weak” NYCHA oversight

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli criticizes agency monitoring $100M in repair funds

From left: Thomas DiNapoli, Bill de Blasio and Shola Olatoye
From left: Thomas DiNapoli, Bill de Blasio and Shola Olatoye

UPDATED, 3:20 p.m., Aug. 28: As if the problems at the New York City Housing Authority weren’t bad enough, the state agency charged with overseeing NYCHA’s use of repair funds is now under scrutiny.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli called the state Division of Housing & Community Renewal’s oversight of NYCHA repair money “weak” and “lacking,” after auditors found the Division of Housing approved $6.8 million for a NYCHA contractors with little documentation and lost track of various NYCHA projects.

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In April, Gov. Andrew Cuomo allotted $100 million for NYCHA repairs on the condition that the Division of Housing and state Dormitory Authority work on a spending plan with city officials, according to the New York Daily News. While the Division of Housing claims no official oversight of the funds, it is heavily involved in figuring out how the money will be spent.

“The questionable spending and the lack of oversight that we found is troubling,” DiNapoli said. “NYCHA’s residents and taxpayers deserve better.”

In July, City Comptroller Scott Stringer released an audit claiming housing officials underreported their maintenance backlog by nearly 40 percent and closed work orders without performing repairs. [NYDN]Rey Mashayekhi