After the results of new inspections came in, the New York City Housing Authority announced that it needs $31.8 billion to repair the lion's share of its decrepit housing stock. According to the Wall Street Journal, this is an increase of nearly $7 billion over previous estimates.
“You can’t escape the enormity of the number, or the enormity of the unmet gap in the funding,” Stanley Brezenoff, the interim chair of NYCHA, said at a news conference.
Far from a mere cosmetic issue, the city has acknowledged that hundreds of children under the age of five living in NYCHA tested positive for elevated lead levels.
Comptroller Scott Stringer is launching an investigation into NYCHA, the city’s Health Department and City Hall concerning their responses to lead-paint hazards.
NYCHA officials say it will cost $12.6 billion to gut and renovate the large portion of its 177,666 apartments in need of repairs. The agency needs an additional $10.7 billion to repair windows, doors, public kitchens, bathrooms and gyms. Beyond that, it will cost another $2.6 billion to make architectural and electrical improvements to the common spaces, parks and playgrounds on NYCHA properties.
New York City only has $6.84 billion available for repairs, leaving a $24.9 billion deficit, which will prevent the city from making meaningful strides toward remedying the dire situation.
“This is really significant. Things are going to be undone or not done timely,” Brezenoff said. “It has consequences for our residents that we don’t have these resources.”