The New York City Housing Authority has reportedly been sitting on millions of taxpayer dollars allocated for city housing repairs for up to six years.
NYCHA “sat on” more than $50 million set aside by the City Council for fire alarms, handicap-accessibility upgrades, security cameras and a list of other repairs and upgrades, the New York Daily News reported, citing a NYCHA report.
Dozens of projects funded up to five years ago are now listed as “zero percent complete,” and $49.6 million allocated over the past six years has resulted in dozens of unfinished jobs that would have patched up basketball courts, renovated community centers and installed elevators and fire alarms, according to the report.
“Too many New Yorkers are still waiting for nearly 100 promised security projects from years past,” Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn told the publication after reviewing the report. “Every day that NYCHA fails to make essential security upgrades is another day that New Yorkers’ lives are needlessly placed in jeopardy.”
Millions more – some of it dating back to 2008 – were set aside for unfinished camera installations at 90 developments. Of those, 33 are “in construction,” 33 are awaiting approval from the city budget office or controller and eight are about to be closed out as complete. “The rest are in limbo,” according to the News.
A NYCHA spokeswoman said some of the money “was inadequate when it was first allocated, but additional funds have since been assigned, and the projects are either underway or near completion.”
In other cases, she added, “Projects have been completed, but there are funds remaining that cannot be spent until the Council member repurposes a use for the money.”
But City Councilman Charles Barron, who in early 2008 set aside $3 million for a two-story youth center with a new gym at the Linden Houses in East New York, Brooklyn, still blamed NYCHA.
“I could choke them,” he said.