City Spends $3M for Housing Advice it Already Paid $10m For

(THE CITY) December 26, 2019

The city spent $3 million for a consultant’s report on how to overhaul the troubled public housing system — a document that echoes key recommendations from another consultant that cost taxpayers $10 million in 2012.

The report by KPMG LLP, released Monday, includes a call to shift responsibility for apartment upkeep from NYCHA headquarters to housing developments. That’s remarkably similar to the advice Boston Consulting Group offered seven years ago, a review by THE CITY found.

Mayor Bill de Blasio hired KPMG in May as part of an agreement signed in January with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Benjamin Carson to settle a complaint filed by federal prosecutors charging NYCHA covered up squalid conditions in thousands of apartments.

KPMG was charged with proposing organizational reforms.

That’s essentially the mission Boston Consulting Group was hired for in 2012 when John Rhea, then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s appointee as NYCHA’s chairperspon, enlisted the firm to do a similar drill-down on the authority’s structural flaws.

Deja Vu All Over Again

THE CITY’s examination of the reports from both consultants revealed multiple moments of déjà vu.

KPMG’s 700-page report, filed with NYCHA, prosecutors, HUD and an independent monitor appointed as part of the agreement, set out to “document the current state structure of the organization, benchmark the structure and identify challenges and opportunities for improvement for NYCHA’s current operating model.”