With a Snowless January, New York Will Break a Record

Author: Yuvi January 30, 2023 With a Snowless January, New York Will Break a Record

Why did the slide in rent payments have such alarming consequences here, compared with other cities with public housing?

Proportionally, some other cities have had similar slides. But the problem is particularly urgent in New York City for a few reasons.

For one, NYCHA’s network of developments is by far the largest. Its population of about 340,000 is comparable to the size of Orlando or Pittsburgh. Chicago’s housing authority, in comparison, says it has about 27,500 residents. And with the cost of living increasing in New York City, there’s arguably no other place in the nation where a vast system of deeply affordable housing is as important.

Second, New York State’s pandemic rent relief program — a federal program run by the states — created a unique challenge. State legislators gave public housing residents the lowest priority for funding, lower than low-income people living in private homes who might be more vulnerable to eviction. But because demand for rent relief was so overwhelming, NYCHA tenants received none of it, with more than $3 billion being channeled elsewhere. NYCHA tenants have submitted at least $130 million worth of applications.

Third, NYCHA is legally obligated to improve conditions in its developments as part of a 2019 agreement with the federal government to address lead paint, mold, faulty elevators, pests and more. A federal monitor appointed to oversee the reforms has found mixed progress so far. But the costs associated with living up to the NYCHA agreement have jumped from about $267 million in 2019 to $392 million in 2022, in part because of how the requirements are staggered. This is one of the reasons the city is spending more on NYCHA.

Are NYCHA’s costs out of control?

As I mentioned, a big reason for NYCHA’s financial predicament is that it must remedy many widespread problems identified by the 2019 agreement.

But there are other reasons. The buildings continue to age and deteriorate. Costs associated with labor — salaries, overtime, benefits and more — have been on the rise, according to Sean Campion, the director of housing and economic development studies at the Citizens Budget Commission. The group recently found that NYCHA’s operating costs per unit have grown about 50 percent since 2013, exceeding those of other types of affordable housing.

Author: Yuvi

My name is Yuvi, I work as Sub Editor at newscinema.in

30 January, 2023, 10:32 am

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