The countdown clock is ticking. Big changes are ahead for the New York City Housing Authority. But will the changes bring improvements for long-suffering residents?
I sat down with HUD Regional Administrator Lynne Patton for her take on recent developments. Patton is known for talking directly to residents and seeing conditions first hand. The disturbing images that scream neglect—no heat, lead and mold, and rats running wild are all too familiar to her and fuel her determination to make positive changes.
Patton’s boss, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, toured the Queensbridge Houses in advance of a meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio and a congressional delegation. The mayor needs HUD on his side to convince federal judge William Pauley that NYCHA can climb out of a multibillion-dollar budget hole and give residents what they deserve. The mayor sounded hopeful after the meeting.
If Carson declares NYCHA in default, it triggers a housing law from 1937 that allows him to put the city agency in federal receivership, hire and fire, and even choose who runs it. It would be a political embarrassment for the mayor.
Patton said the U.S. attorney for the Southern District is still conducting criminal investigations into NYCHA employees and management. Some have been arrested for embezzling tenant rents and falsifying repair records, and more are expected.
—LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer
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