NYCHA Still in the Woods
March 15th, 2010
Today’s announcement of a $400 million infusion to the New York City Housing Authority will get the authority off of critical condition.
But it isn’t out of the woods yet.
Testifying at a budget hearing just hours after the announcement of a federal funding boost, New York City Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea said the authority still faces a more than $100 million deficit in the current fiscal year.
“While we have made huge strides in addressing our long-term infrastructure needs and moving the authority towards financial health, ultimately reducing our section 8 and public housing operating forecasted deficit from $137 million to $103 million, we still have work to do,” said Rhea.
To close that gap, of which a large part is from the over enrollment of Section 8, the authority has four options, Rhea said, including terminating families from section 8, reducing section 8 payments or getting more funding from either the federal or local governments.
The news soured a more jovial announcement this morning from the Bloomberg administration that 21 NYCHA housing developments, originally built by the city and state after World War II, would become eligible for federal funding. Since these developments were built by the city and state, they never received federal funding, and they gradually stopped receiving city and state subsidies in the 1990s. Through a partnership with Citibank, who will own a stake in the developments, these properties will receive about $400 million in public and private money — the majority of which will go to capital improvements.
The agreement covers more than 20,000 units.
These developments will also now receive up to $75 million a year for operating expenses.
While the agreement is a clear boost for the authority, officials said today it’s not a panacea.
“This was factored into your forecast and we’re still seeing deficits, which is obviously of great concern,” said Councilmember Melissa Mark Viverito at today’s hearing.By Courtney Gross on March 15, 2010, 5:58 pm
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