New Public Advocate Letitia James Says From Harlem To Hollis NYC Is ‘Worst Landlord’

Public Advocate Letitia James has previously used her ranking of bad landlords publicly shame the city’s most unscrupulous property owners reports Patch.

This year, she’s shaming the city itself.

James, a Democrat, put the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) at the top of her final “Worst Landlords Watchlist,” citing a mountain of needed repairs and unfulfilled work requests from public housing tenants.

“The Worst Landlords Watchlist has been an invaluable tool to hold bad landlords accountable and improve living conditions for countless New Yorkers,” James said in a statement Wednesday. “But for too long, the most glaring example of this ill-treatment has been at the hands of the City itself — and this year, we are finally putting NYCHA on notice.”

NYCHA got the dubious distinction as city and federal officials weigh how to overhaul the city’s public housing following a judge’s rejection of a settlement between the housing authority and federal prosecutors.

Citing the housing authority’s own metrics, James’ office said NYCHA had more than 240,000 open work orders in October, compared with 148,000 in the prior year. Its buildings also need more than $25 billion in repairs in the next year, according to NYCHA’s most recent “Physical Needs Assessment.”

Citing the housing authority’s own metrics, James’ office said NYCHA had more than 240,000 open work orders in October, compared with 148,000 in the prior year. Its buildings also need more than $25 billion in repairs in the next year, according to NYCHA’s most recent “Physical Needs Assessment.”

BUY IT ON Shop HW

James sent a four-page letter on Wednesday to Mayor Bill de Blasio — her predecessor as public advocate — pointing out NYCHA’s myriad problems and failures. “If a private landlord were to engage in these practices, we would expect them to be led away in handcuffs,” she wrote.

NYCHA oversees more than 177,000 apartments, more than any other landlord in the city or the United States. Its tenants have been beset by woes such as mold, heating outages and exposure to lead paint, as federal prosecutors detailed in a June complaint. About 2,000 residents of Brooklyn’s Brevoort Houses went without water for days over the summer.

NYCHA oversees more than 177,000 apartments, more than any other landlord in the city or the United States. Its tenants have been beset by woes such as mold, heating outages and exposure to lead paint, as federal prosecutors detailed in a June complaint. About 2,000 residents of Brooklyn’s Brevoort Houses went without water for days over the summer.

De Blasio — a Democrat who appoints NYCHA’s chairman and board of directors — launched the Worst Landlords Watchlist when he was public advocate. Putting NYCHA at the top of the list is one of James’ last acts in the job before she becomes the state attorney general next month.

The city agreed to give NYCHA an extra $1 billion in capital funds over four years in a settlement with federal prosecutors. But the rejection of that settlement has led to talk of a federal takeover for NYCHA, which houses more than 400,000 people.

The city agreed to give NYCHA an extra $1 billion in capital funds over four years in a settlement with federal prosecutors. But the rejection of that settlement has led to talk of a federal takeover for NYCHA, which houses more than 400,000 people.

Ben Carson, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has threatened to declare a “substantial default” for the housing authority if a new deal isn’t reached by the end of January.

NYCHA says it is tackling all the problems for which James castigated it through efforts such as NYCHA 2.0, the public housing turnaround plan that de Blasio unveiled last week.

The plan will help resolve $24 billion worth of repairs and quickly address maintenance and service issues such as pests and elevator replacements, the housing authority says. NYCHA says it has also brought on 50 new heating technicians and plans to test more than 135,000 apartments for lead by 2020.

The plan will help resolve $24 billion worth of repairs and quickly address maintenance and service issues such as pests and elevator replacements, the housing authority says. NYCHA says it has also brought on 50 new heating technicians and plans to test more than 135,000 apartments for lead by 2020.

The housing authority shares James’s hope for a “productive partnership” between the city and the Department of Housing and Urban Development “as we continue rebuilding NYCHA for its half-million residents,” NYCHA spokeswoman Jasmine Blake said.

“The problems at NYCHA, brought on by decades of disinvestment and mismanagement, are clear, as is the need for all government partners to help fix and preserve public housing,” Blake said in a statement.

Photo credit: Rep. Letitia James Wikipedia and NYCHA building in Harlem.

About Harlem World Magazine

Harlem World Magazine is the #1 source in the world for living your best life and style in Harlem in 2003.

Leave a Reply

Sign Up for the Harlem World Newsletter