Silver and Others Seek Millions for NYCHA

Daniel L. Squadron

November 12, 2009

By Azi Paybarah

Feature article in The  New York Observer

Public housing advocates and elected officials rallied on the City Hall steps for more than a half hour this morning, demanding the city and state give more money to the New York City Housing Authority.

The group – which was led by Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and State Senator Daniel Squadon and included Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver – said NYCHA will have an operating deficit of $137 million in the 2009-2010 fiscal year. To plug that budget, they want the city to stop charging NYCHA $70 million for police and sanitation services. They’re also looking for cash infusions from the state and federal government: $64 million for “state-built developments,” $30 million for “city-built developments,” plus $100 million from federal stimulus funds to pay for the “weatherization” of NYCHA buildings.

Where would that money come from?

It's unclear.

“I think there is a significant amount of money and we consider this a priority,” sais Silver. Then, he went into an explanation about how funding priorities, like NYCHA, are like food shopping on a budget.

After selecting what you want, “then you come to the check-out counter, and you make a determination about how much money you have in your pocket or how much you have on your credit card. Then you make ‘well, do I really need this? Do I really need this?’ I would suggest to you this is something we really need. So, plain and simple--it’s a requirement.”