NYCHA criticized for sitting on $700 million
The New York City Housing Authority is sitting on some $700 million in unused capital funds, according to testimony from City Comptroller John Liu at an annual hearing Wednesday night.
Liu, who is also running for mayor, said NYCHA “clearly lacks the capacity to spend new funds,” adding they’ve requested another $750 million in bonds from the federal government.
At the annual NYCHA hearing, board members listened to Liu’s and other speakers’ testimony silently, the New York Daily News reported. NYCHA Chairman John Rhea was also reportedly booed by hundreds of public housing tenants who attended the hearing.
Among the other concerns raised by the City Comptroller’s Office are NYCHA’s transparency, particularly regarding plans to lease public land for luxury housing in Manhattan.
Liu also asked NYCHA to “give more than lip service” to residents to improve their relationship.
The hearing was also attended by several other mayoral hopefuls, who also testified.
UPDATE (6:15 p.m.): A NYCHA spokeswoman issued the followed statement in response to Liu’s testimony:
“Contracting and expending capital funds is a multi-phased process, as such HUD allows every public housing authority four years to spend the money. Contrary to the inaccurate charge of money not being utilized in a timely fashion, the New York City Housing Authority has met all of its deadlines in utilizing Capital funds; NYCHA has never requested an extension from HUD.”
Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders