NYCHA, HUD, Southern District Agree on overhaul management


NYCHA Chairman Gregory Russ and NYCHA Federal Monitor Bart Schwartz.  (NYCHA Monitor)

NYCHA Chairman Gregory Russ and NYCHA Federal Monitor Bart Schwartz. (NYCHA Monitor)

Mayor Bill de Blasio primarily blames the long, painful deterioration of the city’s public housing system for the decline in federal funding as developments have aged and their maintenance needs have grown.

But a big part of the problem was terrible driving. It wasn’t just inexperienced managers and unfortunate mayors; the system itself provided New York Housing Authority remained inoperable.

Now the agency – on the instructions of the federal government – says it is changing.

NYCHA announced on Monday that federal prosecutors and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development have agreed to overhaul the nicknamed phase of implementation of the Greenlighting Transformation Plan.

Residents hope that the plan – which is really a plan – is better than its name.

For decades, NYCHA inspectors have seen sign the work that has been never finished“The unions went out every day before the residents could let them be repaired, the exterminators unnecessarily leaving the bait trays in the cellars on the dirty floor, into which the rats easily tunneled, among many other problems and inefficiencies.

The current NYCHA system lacks clear boundaries of authority, making it difficult for the agency to get out of its way. His announcement on Monday even refers to a “six-quarter management structure” that seems to forget the fact that the city has only five. It is tempting to imagine a whole division of NYCHA workers assigned to a non-existent part of the city.

There were plenty of scandals. At Throggs Throat in the Bronx, guards were accused of sleeping with subordinates and drunken parties at work. To generate complaints against a colleague, the manager there named Brianne Pawson sabotaged new refrigerators, states the Ministry of Investigation. Pending repairs inflated each time they were tabulated, rising to $ 42 billion from $ 17 billion in just four years.

The whole system was a mess – inefficient, irresponsible and at times criminal.

Eventually, federal prosecutors entered Manhattan, and the HUD threatened to take over the system by 177,611 units. Two years ago, they reached an agreement with the de Blasi administration to restart it; This included Monday’s announcement.

The agency said its transformation plan would change NYCHA’s governance structure, asset management systems and central support functions.

Until someone is too excited, changes have not yet been made. Rather, they will be subjected to many months of analysis of the supervisors’ work list: the HUD, New York’s Southern District, federal monitor Bart Schwartz, tenants, and other stakeholders.

“This includes evaluating the costs and benefits of any possible change and initiating difficult decisions that are necessary to better serve the population,” says NYCHA. Press Release he said. “These results, based on modeling and analysis, will be presented in the implementation plan as a complement to the transformation plan.”

The help edition adds: “Together, the transformation plan and the implementation plan will lead to the organizational plan required by the HUD agreement.” Transformation plan is part of a larger NYCHA plan called A plan for changewhich includes a stabilization strategy.

I can think of Churchill’s phrase “a riddle shrouded in mystery.” (NYCHA hopes her contract will end better than the one Churchill was with reference to.)

The first part of the implementation plan is to be submitted in September and the second part in June 2022.

No one expects miracles. “We expect implementation to not be easy,” said Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Conference.

“But,” she promised, “it will bring results that will improve living conditions and services for NYCHA residents.”

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