In Response to Calls from Tenants, Governor’s Proposed Investment Will Address Health and Safety Hazards and is Contingent on Selection of Independent Construction Manager to Ensure Accountability
Announcement Builds on Record $300 Million in State Funding Already Committed to NYCHA
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an additional $250 million investment will be proposed for inclusion in the State Budget to support the New York City Housing Authority where an independent construction manager is selected. Although the state has no legal obligation to fund NYCHA, it has already committed a record $300 million to the Authority. The $250 million of additional proposed funding is in response to the tenant requests calling for an independent construction manager separate from NYCHA, tenant oversight of projects and additional funding for NYCHA due to insufficient federal and city funding. This investment will support improvements needed at NYCHA buildings, including securing heat and hot water for families that have gone weeks without these necessities, and the removal of decades-old mold and lead paint.
“At one time, NYCHA was the model of public housing, and now conditions are at the worst they’ve ever been. Tenants living in these intolerable, inhumane conditions need help now – not in four years, and this administration is taking action to ensure a brighter future for New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “The men, women and children living in NYCHA housing deserve better than what they’re getting from their elected leaders, and with the selection of an independent construction manager and a record $250 million state investment, we will deliver the support needed for families to lead quality, healthy lives in New York City.”
This additional state commitment comes just weeks after a state inspection lead the Governor to direct the Commissioner of Health Dr. Zucker to conduct a formal investigation into NYCHA for health and safety hazards. Public health hazards that have been neglected by city officials and were found during the inspection, include mold and potential lead paint. In addition to these hazardous conditions, and despite $300 million in state funding currently dedicated to NYCHA, city officials previously determined that it will take up to four years to replace the failing boilers, which have left many NYCHA tenants without heat or hot water throughout the cold winter months.
Lawyer for the Citywide Council of Presidents Jim Walden, of Walden, Macht & Haran said, “The tenants spoke out clearly and the first person to answer our call was Governor Cuomo. He has embraced our core goals of having an independent contractor repair dilapidated NYCHA apartments and buildings, and giving tenants a seat at the table and the jobs they deserve and are entitled to under federal law. And now today after the City and Federal governments have clearly failed to adequately fund NYCHA, the Governor is responding to our request by pledging an additional 250 million dollars in top of the 300 million dollars he had already pledged. I am dumbstruck on behalf of the entire New York City Housing Authority community at Governor Cuomo’s decisive action and there is no possible way we could thank him enough.”