Preservation trust could bring much-needed repairs to NYCHA apartments

NEW YORK — Much-needed repairs may be coming to New York City Housing Authority residents.

CBS2’s Leah Mishkin breaks down the bill awaiting the governor’s signature and the reaction from the people who have experienced dangerous conditions inside their homes.

For the past year, Aida Robles has been sleeping in her living room. The NYCHA resident says she had water damage in her bedroom and repairs have still not been made. She also says her unit has mold.

NYCHA’s chair and CEO Greg Russ acknowledges all of the 170,000 NYCHA units need repairs. The cost to do the work? About $40 billion.

“Inside the current federal rulebook, there’s only very few paths that you can take as a public housing authority to sort of enhance your subsidy,” Russ said.

Now there’s a new path to funding. A bill that made it through New York state legislature Thursday looks to create a New York City public housing preservation trust. 

“We’ve retained all the rights and protections of public housing, but we’re going to fund it with Section 8 subsidy,” Russ said.

Twenty-five thousand NYCHA apartments would be eligible to transfer into the new trust in the first wave.

“We need to do the whole portfolio, but we added the cap because we felt everyone is more comfortable with us being able to show proof of concept,” Russ said.

Legal Aid Society attorney Lucy Newman says this trust is a great opportunity to make much-needed critical repairs.

“There are protections built into the legislation that ensure all of those critical points that make public housing the stable, affordable housing that we know,” she said.  

Residents will have the choice of whether they want to opt into the trust or not.

Barbara McFadden is in favor.

“It will give NYCHA the funding that they need to do this backlog of repairs,” she said.

Others who spoke to CBS2 fear it’ll cost them more out of pocket down the line.

“Residents don’t lose any of their current rights, any of their current opportunities of public housing, but they wind up with a new apartment at the end of the day,” Russ said.

Mayor Eric Adams said this trust will deliver on “promised repair,” and Gov. Kathy Hochul called it “a major win,” adding she looks “forward to signing it into law.”

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