HUD restricts NYCHA’s access to funds

The crackdown is in response to NYCHA's lead paint inspection scandal

Ben Carson
Ben Carson

In response to the devolving condition of New York’s public housing and the recent lead paint inspection scandal, the federal government is taking a firm stance.

The New York City Housing Authority will have to get the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s approval for every expenditure from here on out, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“We don’t want to do it that way, but they forced us into doing it that way until they become more responsible,” HUD secretary Ben Carson said to the Journal.

NYCHA fired back in opposition to HUD’s restriction of its access to capital funds pointing out Carson had yet to visit their offices.

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“It is surprising… that the Secretary, who has not found an available hour to visit the largest public housing authority in his portfolio, is focused on steps that hinder not help,” spokeswoman Jasmine Blake wrote to the Journal in an email. “This is not a do-no-harm approach.”

Last year, NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye criticized Carson for a lack of policy guidance.

“I find it almost unconscionable that we could be almost a year into this administration and not have a clear sense of how agencies such as NYCHA and the other 3,200 public housing agencies are meant to operate given the significant capital need that we’re faced with,” she said.

Public housing in New York needs an estimated $25 billion worth of repairs and Olatoye is talking about partnering with private developers to get the job done. [WSJ]Erin Hudson