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The Untold Truth of NYCHA

Linda Pillcorema, Reporter

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In the City of New York, the NYCHA( New York City Housing Authority) has been an affordable and “decent” place to live. It has been providing homes for many low to moderate income families in New York since 1935. NYCHA has become one of the largest public housing authorities throughout the nation. However, over the years, there have been many reports about the NYCHA not being responsive on several complaints made by their tenants. Tenants have to live under difficult circumstances / conditions, and now the City Council of New York, and Governor Cuomo, have intervened to resolve these issues impacting tenants.

Throughout the beginning of this year, new reports have been unfolding about certain issues that NYCHA residents are confronting. For example, there are reports that since October in 2017 82% of apartments have experienced heat outages. In which, on average, heat outages lasted for about 48 hours. Many officials claim that this is due to the old infrastructure which is causing extreme cold temperatures. Moreover, NYCHA’S Chairwoman Shola Olatoye has been accused of giving false testimony about lead paint inspections to the City Council last year. The City Council held a hearing with NYCHA Chairwoman Olayota, to hear on her behalf, about all these allegations that many tenants have stated. The Chairwoman Olayote had testified on December 5, 2017, that about 4,200 apartments were visually inspected by workers that were certified by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Olayote was asked by the City Council if the 4,200 apartments were visually inspected, she replied, “yes, that is correct.” On the other hand, investigators proved that only 15 workers were certified. Olayoto was given praise from Mayor Bill de Blasio, when in fact, she was hiding the truth regarding how many tenants were, and are, living now.

All the outbursts of information coming from the allegations against NYCHA has caught the attention of Governor Cuomo. Recently on March 12, 2018, Governor Cuomo met some of the tenants from NYCHA, and he even toured some of the units at the Bronx complex. Governor Cuomo called the situation at NYCHA complex, “ disgusting” and demanded change. According to Governor Cuomo the conditions were shameful, as he said, “there are roaches, vermin, there are health safety issues, the paint is coming off the walls, it has nothing to do with the way the family is taking care of the unit, the unit is crumbling around them.” This is why Governor Cuomo has called the situation a state of emergency. Even though the state of New York has absolutely no control over New York City Housing Authority, Governor Cuomo has offered to give 200 million dollars to the New York City Housing Authority.

Overall, the truth has been revealed, because a City Council member, Ritchie Torres, brought these issues to the attention of the City Council. He represents a Bronx district. Council Member Torres advocates for many of NYCHA’s residents, because he himself grew up in public housing. Being the youngest elected member of the New York’s City Council, he has already addressed many of NYCHA’s flaws with his voice. The Latino voice, once more, keeps rising to discover many of the social issues that New Yorkers face on a day to day basis.

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