City Council questions NYC public housing authority's transparency - Metro US

City Council questions NYC public housing authority’s transparency

NYCHA public housing
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Thecity agency responsible for the upkeep of apartments housing more than 600,000 New Yorkers needs to be more accountable to its tenants, local leaders said Thursday.

A number of lawmakers, including the City Council’s public housing chair Ritchie Torres of the Bronx, lambasted the New York City Housing Authority and its failure to be open with both them and residents.

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“NYCHA is the least transparent institution in city government,” Torres said at a hearing in City Hall in response to the agency’s mishandling of roof repairs at King Towers in the Bronx.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer urged that the agency send all of its spending through his office for public tracking.

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“It’s time for this administration to go do what none have done,” Stringer said at the hearing. “It’s time to deal with the 21st century and come out of the shadows into more transparent view of the budget.”

NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye was not opposed to submitting basic budget and contract information to the comptroller’s office for its contract-tracking website Checkbook.

However, Olatoye said the agency was already working to make its contracts and project information public on its website. She added the agency, which receives more than 80 percent of its funding from the federal government, is already overseen by 14 different groups.

“The issue at hand is not creating additional layers of unfunded reporting,” she testified to the council, “but more transparency for proper oversight and accountability.”

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