The perennial problems with NYCHA are compounded by chronic and massive budget deficits. In 2022, the shortfall is projected to be $300 million, which is expected to grow to $363 million in 2023. The City Council must ensure that taxpayer funds are used as effectively and efficiently as possible, so that public housing tenants no longer get false promises and failed policies.
NYCHA plans to deal its very long backlog of repair orders by converting 62,000 apartments to Section 8 and to fix up the other 110,000 units with money from federal tenant vouchers by using a federal government financing mechanism known as the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). The RAD program in New York City—called Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT)—sounds like another pie-in-the-sky "Save NYCHA" plan, because it requires Congress to approve a 4,900% increase in the number of NYCHA vouchers and to permit them to be pooled into a single fund.
The newly enacted $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus bill includes no money for NYCHA’s PACT or for RAD. Should Congress eventually fund this plan, I want to ensure that this the huge infusion of taxpayer money will not be squandered and that long-suffering tenants in NYCHA developments won’t have their hopes dashed once again, because of fraud, waste and mismanagement.