The New York City Housing Authority's (NYCHA) top official made it to City Hall on Tuesday. Shola Olatoye walked in 12 minutes late.
She would stay for five hours, taking questions and criticism on the state of the city's public housing.
"Just say it: 'I apologize,'" City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said to her during the hearing.
"I specifically said the performance and the interruptions in service were unacceptable," Olatoye said.
NYCHA officials addressed some startling figures. Since October, some 82 percent of apartments have experienced heat outages. On average, those outages lasted 48 hours.
Officials say the housing authority has old infrastructure, pointing to the frigid temperatures.
Just down the block at an unrelated event, Mayor Bill de Blasio played defense, too. "Our job is to do better with what we got," he said.
He was asked whether NYCHA tenants deserve the same standards as those renting from private landlords.
"People in public housing deserve the very best living standard we can give them with the money we have," the mayor responded.
Those were comments sure to ignite more controversy at NYCHA. For months now, the chairwoman of the city's public housing authority has been under fire.
First, the authority failed to conduct lead paint inspections. Next, the chairwoman was accused of giving false testimony under oath to the city council at a different hearing in December.
As she testified Tuesday, that topic reemerged: "You should have known the basic facts of a lead safety program that has been the subject of a federal investigation for two years," Bronx City Councilman Ritchie Torres said. "You had weeks to prepare."
The city's top lawyer chimed in, making an unusual appearance at the hearing to defend the struggling agency and its leader: "She has answered your question," said City Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter. "It may not be the answer you want, but it is her honest and earnest answer."
Johnson told NY1 that he was unsatisfied with the chairwoman's answers, which means the council will have more questions in the weeks and months to come.