Policy

Stringer Report Highlights Worsening NYCHA Conditions

Living conditions for residents in New York City Housing Authority buildings have grown significantly worse in recent years, according to a new report released by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who framed his office's findings both around the need to preserve the city's affordable housing stock and a looming public health crisis.

"Housing conditions at NYCHA have become a laundry list of tenant frustration, from broken windows and peeling paint, to faulty heaters and scurrying rats," Stringer said in a statement. "New York City's housing stock is among the most valuable in the world, but my report today shows that there are great disparities in how New Yorkers live. Securing funding for NYCHA maintenance and repairs and vigorously enforcing the housing code must be a priority for this administration."

Using data from 2002 to 2011, primarily from the Housing and Vacancy Survey (HVS) issued by the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the comptroller's office found that while the city as a whole maintained high-quality housing stock during that time, the conditions in public housing steadily deteriorated.

In 2002, 60 percent of public housing apartments had at least one structural or maintenance "deficiency", with that number ballooning to 79 percent by 2011. Water leaks were found in one-fifth of NYCHA apartments in 2002, compared with one-third of apartments in 2011. There were also marked increases in rodent sightings, broken windows, and heating equipment breakdowns in NYCHA apartments over the last decade.

Additionally, the report highlights the disparity in living conditions between market-rate housing tenants and affordable housing tenants, with 20 percent of rent-stabilized units suffering from heating equipment breakdowns, double the percentage of market-rate units. This information reflects a commonly held notion that rent regulation discourages housing investment. In fact, according to citywide Area Median Income data, a substantially lower percentage of market-rate rental units are deficient compared with rent-regulated apartments in each income group. That disparity extends to race, as over 34 percent of rent-regulated apartments occupied by black households, 28 percent by Hispanic households, and 18 percent by Asian/South Pacific households have three or more structural deficiencies, as opposed to 16 percent of white households.

While Stringer's report does not make any policy recommendations, solving the fiscal puzzle of the nation's largest public housing stock is a quandary with which city leaders have struggled. NYCHA has yearly operating deficits of $77 million and an enormous $18 billion backlog of capital improvements, amid a political climate in Washington that has seen continued disinvestment in urban public housing. Moreover, Stringer has suggested in the past that the management of NYCHA has been characterized by poor investment and spending strategies, as well as incompetent leadership and a "lack of accountability."

Shola Olatoye, a former affordable housing developer who Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed as the new NYCHA chair in February, acknowledged in a recent interview that NYCHA's problems were "pretty dire." While the administration has made a concerted effort to curb violence at NYCHA facilities, which it points to as having led to a recent 4 percent drop in crime in public housing, the mayor has yet to detail a comprehensive plan for improving the beleaguered agency. Some legislators, like City Councilman Ritchie Torres, who chairs the Council’s public housing committee, urged the administration in a recent op-ed to establish a 10-year, multi-billion-dollar "Marshall Plan" to help NYCHA eliminate its backlog of repairs.

To read the comptroller's NYCHA report in its entirety, click here.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.