Residents of New York City’s public housing network are being given the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding their living conditions and more directly to the city’s comptroller’s office.
The New York City Comptroller is required to audit city agencies at least once every four years and because NYCHA is on a “watch list,” it is subjected to further scrutiny than others.
Because of this designation, Comptroller Brad Lander said his office has launched an online survey – in addition to a series of public meetings – to allow residents to directly outline their concerns, and hopefully speed up much-needed repairs.
“Our idea here is to bring [residents] in at the beginning,” Lander said in an interview with NY1’s Dean Meminger. “Rather than just have our auditors start to dig in, [we will] first say to some of those 535,000 residents, ‘What do you want to know? What do you think is the most important for us to prioritize?’ And then, we’ll send the auditors out to dig in.”
NYCHA had previously estimated that it would need nearly $40 billion to complete its backlog of capital repairs and, but Lander said that money is not the only thing needed.
“NYCHA does need more funding, some new legislation passed in Albany that’ll provide new resources for about 25,000 units – but you also need better management,” he said.
“One of the people at the meetings we had last week came out and said, ‘I don’t think there’s any follow-up with the vendors. Do they actually get the job done? Have they fixed the things? Are we hiring the same people over and over again? Even the one who aren’t getting the work done?’ So we need both more money and better management. Audits get you that better management.”
Lander said his office is conducting extensive outreach to get word to residents that the survey is available and is stressing that “we need your voice at the table if we’re going to make change.
NYCHA residents can access the online survey at comptroller.nyc.gov.