De Blasio defends NYCHA after it is accused of violating federal safety protocol

Prosecutors allege public housing residents are still exposed to toxic lead dust

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

Federal prosecutors have accused the New York City Housing Authority of failing to meet federal safety protocol and fix its public housing buildings, including the removal of toxic lead dust.

Mayor Bill de Blasio defended NYCHA on Tuesday and said the city is “taking it all very seriously,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

The public housing crisis was the subject of heated debate this week between Democratic gubernatorial contenders, incumbent Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon.
“The NYCHA housing is a political disgrace,” Cuomo said. Cuomo and de Blasio have sparred over for the various issues plaguing the New York City Housing Authority and the state’s level of responsibility to the agency. Nixon has repeatedly criticized the governor’s cozy relationship with the real estate industry and has pushed for universal rent control.

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Prosecutors in the U.S. Southern District of New York reached an agreement with NYCHA in June that would force the city to meet federal safety protocol and provide fixes and repairs to more than 176,000 units.

Under the consent decree the city was to spend $1 billion on repairs over the first four years, and then $200 million each year for the next decade. But in court documents filed Friday prosecutors allege that city officials acknowledged they were not in compliance with the consent decree and were not meeting targets.

The prosecutors have requested the judge appoint an independent monitor to improve NYCHA. [WSJ] — David Jeans 

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