Stringer Claims Victory As NYCHA Ousts Board Members

Yesterday, city officials announced that two boards of the New York City Housing Authority would step down after The Daily News  has launched a withering investigation into NYCHA’s slowness to move on repairs and to properly spend money it has been allocated and the City Council held a withering hearing.

And today, Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer claimed victory.

Last week, I released a comprehensive report documenting problems in New York City’s public housing, and proposed major reforms, including a complete overhaul of the Housing Authority’s management structure,” he wrote an email to supporters. “Yesterday, we got action for NYCHA’s 650,000 residents:  the City of New York said it would adopt my recommendations.”

As CKatz noted, Mr. Stringer’s report: “can be ultra-simplified into three points: One, replace NYCHA’s current management structure with a seven-member, mayor-appointed board… Two, NYCHA should support an independent non-profit that would help tenants navigate complex land use and zoning issues. Last, Stringer says, NYCHA should make fully public a $10 million “business transformation consulting services study.”‘

It is worth noting here that NYCHA has really only agreed to one of the recommendations–making the Boston Consulting Group’s report public, which they did yesterday. Mayor Bloomberg has proposed making the board a five member all volunteer outfit, but that requires Albany approval, and there was no mention of NYCHA supporting “an independent non-profit that would help tenants navigate complex land use and zoning issues.”

To be fair, a lot  of this the most basic stuff of politics–getting in front of an issue that the papers are harping, and then counting yourself responsible when the issue gets (even partially) resolved.

“It’s a big deal, and I wanted to make sure you knew about it,” Mr. Stringer writes at the end of his note, which can be read in full below.

Dear Friend,

Hope you’re having a great summer. For me, this summer has been a busy one. Last week, I released a comprehensive report documenting problems in New York City’s public housing, and proposed major reforms, including a complete overhaul of the Housing Authority’s management structure.

Yesterday, we got action for NYCHA’s 650,000 residents:  the City of New York said it would adopt my recommendations.

One in 13 New Yorkers live in public housing, but an antiquated management structure contributed to $1 billion in federal funding being left unspent and critical repairs taking years to implement. Underscoring the importance of this issue, the New York Times published an editorial that called for the City to act and referenced my recommendations for change.

Yesterday, the Bloomberg Administration announced they would seek to restructure NYCHA’s board, adopting many of my report’s recommendations.  You can read coverage of this in the New York Times, New York Daily News and New York Post.

But this is only the beginning.  To achieve fundamental change, we must work tirelessly over the coming months with NYCHA residents, our city and state legislators and Governor Cuomo. These actions will ensure increased accountability and transparency at one of the City’s largest agencies, serving New Yorkers in all five boroughs.

It’s a big deal, and I wanted to make sure you knew about it.

All the best,

Scott Stringer Claims Victory As NYCHA Ousts Board Members