Eliot Spitzer outlines NYCHA policy proposals

Credit: Bess Adler
Eliot Spitzer made his comments at the Frederick Douglass Houses on the Upper East Side. Credit: Bess Adler

For the first time since jumping into the city comptroller race in July, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer outlined specific policy proposals on public housing Wednesday.

Speaking at the Frederick Douglass Houses on the Upper East Side, Spitzer said he would hold the New York City Housing Authority more accountable as comptroller than the current “establishment” — a jab at his biggest rival in the race, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

“The establishment has failed NYCHA residents time and time again,” Spitzer said in a statement.

As part of his proposal, Spizter said he opposed fingerprinting NYCHA residents to increase safety, as suggested by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week.

“When the establishment got together to give this mayor a third term, in contradiction of the will of New Yorkers, we got ideas like fingerprinting our neighbors instead of action to secure our neighborhoods,” Spitzer said.

Spitzer said he would use existing funds to complete installation of security cameras at NYCHA developments — something most candidates, mayoral and otherwise, have also promised.

He also said he actively monitor NYCHA repairs, which are backlogged in the thousands. Spitzer would also review lease agreements between NYCHA and private developers.

In outlining his public housing strategy, Spitzer’s campaign noted that as governor he signed the Shelter Allowance Bill, which allowed the state to fund an additional $47 million to NYCHA in 2007.

In a cutting statement on Spitzer’s proposals, a spokeswoman for Stringer’s campaign said the borough president has been an “outspoken leader” on issues affecting public housing residents.

“It’s nice that 20 days before an election, Eliot Spitzer has woken up to the needs of public housing residents,” spokeswoman Audrey Gelman said.

Stringer’s campaign noted he has previously released reports on NYCHA calling for a restructuring of the board, which was later approved.

Spitzer’s campaign pointed out Stringer had previously praised Spitzer for a “commitment to housing that has not been seen at the state level for years.”

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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