The Crisis in New York City Public Housing

 PHOTO: DAVE SANDERS | THE NEW YORK TIMES

PHOTO: DAVE SANDERS | THE NEW YORK TIMES

The New York Times, Letter to the Editor: Cuomo Weighs State of Emergency for New York City Public Housing”
By Judith Goldiner
March 23, 2018

City Hall and Albany are both at fault for the New York City Housing Authority’s decrepit condition. Years of neglect and divestment have New York State on the verge of declaring the agency in a state of emergency. But this is a wrongheaded solution to the problem.

To stop public housing residents’ suffering, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio must simply invest more money. Independent monitors, blue-ribbon commissions, design-build legislation and emergency declarations will not amount to much if the agency’s budget remains flat.

While the governor and the mayor duke it out with competing press statements and over social media, let’s not forget that people’s well-being remains in the balance. Both men need to put their egos aside and prioritize the agency’s improvement with real dollars.

This is a watershed and transcendent moment that calls into question both governments’ ability to cooperate and to address one of the most pressing local public problems of our time.