News

Tenants Warn They’re Expendable in NYCHA Restructuring Bill

(THE CITY) GREG B. SMITH, May 28, 2022

For two years, legislation that would allow NYCHA to raise billions of dollars for much-needed repairs by placing apartments into a publicly controlled trust has been touted as the cure for what ails the nation’s biggest public housing authority.

And for two years it’s been dead in the water in Albany.

But after an initial bumpy reception, the so-called Preservation Trust now appears on track to win approval before this year’s state legislative session wraps up next week.

The trust would enable NYCHA to issue bonds to pay for potentially billions of dollars in upgrades, a significant step toward confronting what it estimates is $40 billion in needed repairs to its aging portfolio. Tenants have suffered for decades with deteriorating conditions from mold infestations to busted elevators to toxic lead paint.

NYCHA can’t use the revenue raised by traditional public housing as collateral. The bill lets it switch the funding to federal Section 8 vouchers, which can be used as collateral to borrow money. Under the trust, NYCHA continues to own and run the properties.

On Monday the bill was okayed by the Assembly Codes Committee, while the Senate version was moved to the Rules Committee Wednesday. Both now appear headed for a floor vote imminently.

Source: The City