HUD Gives City Deadline For NYCHA Plan Under Threat Of Federal Takeover

December 15, 2018 - 1:21 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The tug-of-war continues between the city and the federal government over the future of New York’s public housing, with local officials looking to head off a federal takeover amid a looming deadline.

The NYC Housing Authority's scandals have been almost constant: There have been accusations the authority covered up lead problems; a number of residents had no heat over a chilly Thanksgiving; allegations surfaced of sex parties among workers.

Now amid a $32 billion work backlog, the federal government is threatening to take the first steps in taking over the city’s public housing agency, which is the largest in the nation. 

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is giving the city until Jan. 31 to come up with an “acceptable,” comprehensive plan to rescue NYCHA.

Carson says he intends to declare a substantial default – that’s seen as the first step towards a federal takeover, which would involve federal officials managing the thousands of NYCHA homes.

Mayor Bill de Blasio would say he’s done just that; he introduced what he calls NYCHA 2.0 this past week. It’s a more aggressive plan for renovations.

De Blasio said in a statement City Hall is having productive conversations with Carson and the U.S. Attorney to improve the quality of life for the 400,000 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home.

The mayor says everyone agrees that the best outcome involves both the city and the feds working together.

The city had previously offered to invest $2 billion in repairs, but a federal judge rejected that deal saying much more needed to be done.

Residents have long complained of unhealthy conditions at NYCHA houses, such as rats, roaches, mold, broken heating and lead paint.