BP DIAZ CALLS FOR STATE MONITOR OF PUBLIC HOUSING
In a letter to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has called on the State government to appoint a monitor to oversee the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).
“More than 400,000 New Yorkers call our city’s public housing developments their home. This latest report only reinforces the mistrust that many residents already have in the New York City Housing Authority,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “A State-appointed monitor is the only credible way forward to provide for the safety and well-being of our city’s public housing residents.”
Borough President Diaz’s letter comes on the heels of a damning report from the New York City Department of Investigation (NYCDOI) which found that NYCHA had failed to conduct mandatory testing for lead contamination within their apartments, but since 2013 has submitted false documents to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) indicating that all required testing had been completed and that the housing authority was in compliance with federal law.
Previous reports issued by the NYCDOI have found that NYCHA has neglected to provide working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to residents, has not maintained elevators properly and has failed to prevent convicted criminals from living within public housing developments..
In its current report the NYCDOI calls for a monitor to oversee NYCHA, a position Borough President Diaz wholeheartedly agrees with. However, given the City’s current position supervising NYCHA, as well as the federal government’s apparent distaste for public housing and overall incompetence, the borough president believes that only the state has the ability to appoint a credible monitor to examine NYCHA at this time.
“The families who call our City’s public housing developments home deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. It is now plainly clear that a State-appointed monitor is the only way to make that happen,” said Borough President Diaz.
Read the full letter at http://on.nyc.gov/2zJt2Ox.
Assemblymember Pichardo: NYCHA’s failure to perform lead inspections puts countless families at risk
“The revelation that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) failed to perform mandatory annual lead inspections on thousands of apartments, needlessly putting the health and well-being of residents at risk, is deeply troubling. To make matters worse, NYCHA apparently tried to hide its negligence by filing false reports with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“I commend the city’s Inspector General’s office for bringing this wanton disregard for our families’ safety to the public’s attention. NYCHA’s actions appear to violate both local and federal laws requiring annual lead paint inspections.
“I call on city leaders to immediately answer as to how this degree of negligence could have possibly occurred in the first place, let alone over a four-year period. Those who are responsible must be held accountable to ensure the safety of all public housing residents and to show that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”
STATEMENT FROM COUNCIL MEMBER ANDY KING ON NYCHA’S FAILURE TO PERFORM LEAD PAINT VISUAL ASSESSMENTS
"As a Council Member who has been very supportive of NYCHA and has allocated funds to improve and sustain these communities, I am appalled on behalf of the residents of the five NYCHA developments in my district that for years, the Housing Authority has lied to the federal government and to New Yorkers on testing for lead paint. With thousands of families lives affected, heads must roll and we can never again allow a city agency to foster the distrust now created. I welcome an outsider monitor, as proposed by the Department of Investigation, to enable a renewal of trust in this agency and to help fix this broken agency."